How Can I Protect My Computer When Web Surfing On A Friends Network?

Since a good portion of the people that have computers have a laptop this means that you may find yourself using a friends network at some point in time.

It’s great that you have the ability to take a computer and use it wherever and whenever you want to but sometimes when you hook your computer up to a strange network, then you might not know what you are going to get.

There could be some bug hiding in the other computers on the network just waiting to infect your computer.

So even if you are at a friend’s house do not automatically assume that their home network is safe.


Use A Firewall

The first thing that you want to do when you are surfing the web from another network that is not yours is to make sure that you have a software firewall up.

This will stop any strange programs from being able to enter your computer from unmonitored ports.

A software firewall is so important when you are on a network that is not yours.

Unless you are a computer security researcher then you do not know the many ways that an attacker has to get on your system.

Take the guess work out and let a software firewall do all the work for you.

Use A Virtual Machine

Another thing that you can do to protect yourself while you are using the internet on a friend’s network is to use a virtual machine while you are there.

This may have seemed like an extreme example in the past but it is now so easy to set up a virtual machine that this is now a reasonable option.

This way if something is downloaded onto the computer by accident it will only mess up the virtual machine instance and not the actual computer.

Your computer would be able to survive no matter what happened to it.

A virtual machine is definitely a good option if you are serious about keeping your computer protected while you visit a friend’s house.

Run An Antivirus Scan

The last thing that you can do to make sure that your computer is fine when you are surfing the web at a friend’s house is to run an antivirus scan on the computer as soon as you get home.

If you are infected with anything then you do not want to take the chance of it infecting the other computers on your network.

So run a scan and make sure that everything checks out before you reconnect your computer  to your home network.

I know that you like the feeling of being able to take your laptop wherever you go and being able to use the internet but there are still precautions that you must adhere to.

If you do not want your system to be compromised then you must make sure that you have all of the protection that you need when you visit a strange network.

Only then will your computer be safe.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


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