I started this guide with a question, because I think we know the answer:

Is it safe to use coffee shop wi-fi?

nervous computer user

My friends would ask me. They’d lived their whole lives being warned about the Internet: learning, trying to stay safe. And they still weren’t confident they knew the answer.

I’ve worked with computers my entire life, and I’ve seen firsthand: the Internet is safer today than it has ever been! Many people have been working their entire lives to make the Internet safe, and their work is paying off.

So it’s safe then?

I found it hard to give my friends a clear answer.

The Internet is safer than it has ever been, yes, but it is also more fundamental to life than ever. My friends entrust their most private documents and their most precious memories to the Cloud. If I missed something in my advice, they could lose everything.

Besides, the Internet is still a scary place! Hacking is so frequent that there are weekly newsletters summarizing new attacks, and every day we seem to discover new threats.

How could I possibly answer that question?

Is it safe, though?

I wanted a guide. Something that walked through each question step-by-step. Something evidence-based, something that my friends could understand, something that they could use to answer their own questions.

I wanted a guide, but I couldn’t find one.

So I wrote this, to answer the question:

Is it safe to use coffee shop wi-fi?

nervous computer user

Yes, probably. Armed with a few straightforward steps and a little knowledge, you can browse the web in peace.

This guide walks you through the big questions:

And I even do my best to recommend things that make you safer.

But altogether, this guide aims to help you understand safety on the Internet. This guide is for everyday people: people who use Excel at work, who buy stocks online, who want to understand a bit about how their world works. Sensible people.

Welcome to Sensible Security.