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Old 11-28-2008, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow in "OZ "
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Just curious on how many people use a "Free WiFi Hot Spot" Just starting to explore this before purchasing a lap top. Security issue on a open network, what security precautions or programs to use or have used with disappointment or approval and cost...... mo. ~ year
What's the atmosphere like where you use the "Free Wifi" Coffee Shop or sitting in your car out back of the coffee shop.......
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:40 PM
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Location: Ohio
16,896 posts, read 33,628,448 times
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Open wifi hotspots are very insecure. Most data that flies between your computer and the network does so in clear text, which can be sniffed and downloaded by any other computer connected to the same hotspot. The best security approach is to assume that your data will be intercepted when you use one of these and don't send any usernames/passwords to sites unless they show https: in the address bar of your browser.

See more tips at Security at WiFi Hotspots
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
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Glad you brought this up Tinman313 .. was wondering about it myself. As I've become more mobile and as more HotSpots are cropping up, I just go with the assumption that every key I hit is being sniffed by someone (obviously not always true, but I just proceed with that concept).

There are two kinds of free WiFi -- the one in which you sit down and connect, and the other in which you get a key from a person behind a counter in order to connect. I presume that in the latter case, the pool of sniffers still exists, but it's smaller? Or does it matter not one bit because it's my information flowing wirelessly that's being picked up regardless of the key or not?

Also, does my firewall prevent sniffers from going inside my computer or are they limited to just the information I send out and receive back?
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow in "OZ "
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I'm talking "Free" just sit down and start using.... The reason I bring this up several people I know "retirees" go to Mikey "D's for coffee in the morning, as I understand it about 96% of them have "Free WiFI" along with several major gasoline/convenient stores across the US. I would never go on a open system with out some security program, this lead me to WiTopia a paid subscription. And the big issue now is "Side Jacking" like you said sniffer will steal or ride in on your connection. The WiTopia looks to be a very interesting security measure, if it works.
Trying to get away from paying internet service either from a cable ~ or I would never buy a air card.
From my understanding the "Jacker" can ride either direction. Here in FL they had a 5 min bite on the local news called " Mobile Jacking" the "Jackers" drive threw your neighbour in the evening "slow" with a laptop and a special program, what leaks out from your house from your WiFi Router is what they capture. So their saying now to purchase the router with encryption and put the router in the middle of the house.
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:10 PM
 
Location: kcmo
712 posts, read 1,963,174 times
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Let's try not to put a FEAR sell on everything.. in all reality the odds of you getting your data sniffed on a open wifi network are likely that of winning the lottery..

The answer is.. is there anything you can do about open networks that

answer = no (just know that your on one)

And I'd be honest and say that if I were sitting on one.. I wouldn't freak out about placing a credit card order on one..
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
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themaster - you're right to say the odds are slim that there's a sniffer just waiting to jump in ... I don't worry about it nor fear it, but I am aware of the potential - and that's the key - to just be aware that's all. It's like walking down any street - one doesn't fret and sweat consciously thinking there's a mugger around each and every corner, but one does walk with awareness running in the background.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow in "OZ "
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I say why take the chance, I'm going to be moving shortly and trying to save every cent I can. I will most likely be using "Free WiFi Hot Spot" if this is true for communications phone and sending personnel information for job applications / resume.I will try to limit what I send, but at the same time I want security. Yes it's like getting hit by lightning.... "but" !!! I have known several people in my life time that's be struck more than once. All you need is that one time, and your up the preverbal creek with out a paddle.....
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
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I think I agree with you, Tinman313, that sending out personal info such that is found on a resume would make me think twice.

Trying to come up with a solution, I can think of two things: 1) do you have a friend or neighbor who has a secure connection that you could use for the uploading of your resume or applications? or 2) maybe find a free hotspot that's less public - for example, not far from me is a pizza parlor that has free wifi, but you wouldn't know it except for a teeny tiny sign on the door -- it's a very small restaurant in a small strip mall...in my estimation, the chance of a sniffer in that area is so so small compared to, let's say, a hotspot at a mall's food court or at a Starbucks or at a place that has a huge sign proclaiming free wifi here.

You're right that you only need your SS# etc grabbed once and used to be up the creek; but the only other choice is to pay someone/someplace for a secure connection to upload (and even that's not totally secure either). Still, thinking what I'd do in your position, I probably would be aware of where I am, limit what I send, but I would just do it. It's probably because I truly believe that 99.999% of the people around me are honest and are not interested in the least about my personal life.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow in "OZ "
23,985 posts, read 23,215,903 times
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When I was on my trip last summer I used Public Library System, you may have to wait 10-15 min for a computer. I would not use their computers to order stuff but for a resume service it should be fine, Also from what I understand they have "FREE" WiFI in the Library. How secure I have no idea. Like I said I have several cronies that stop at Mikey D's for coffee in the morning and use their lap tops for e-mail. One told me he was looking into WiTopia. From what little I know of this WiFi and what is discussed on WiTopia looks to be a good alternative for security while on line a subscription is 39 bucks for a year I think ? .WiFI It's "FREE"...... I'm cheap if it works why not.......
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
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Osiyo Oginali Tinman313 ... I'm with you ... cheap-->works-->go for it
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