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Just Got A New Laptop And Want To Use It Unsecurred Wi-fi Areas

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#1 Snefe


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Posted 25 July 2008 - 05:03 PM

I want to be able to take my laptop out of town and use free wi-fi areas. What should I do in the way of settings or procedures to maximize my security....other than my anti-virus & malware products?

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#2 caljohnsmith


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Posted 26 July 2008 - 12:16 PM

Be sure you have a good Firewall on your computer; even though the AP you use will surely use "network address translation" or NAT, and will thus act like a firewall to the outside internet, your computer could be vulnerable to other users using the same AP. It depends on how the AP is configured whether computers using the WLAN are allowed to communicate with each other.

And just be aware of MITM attacks ("man-in-the-middle attacks") which are only possible when a hacker shares the same LAN as you do, like when you use an AP. The bottom line is if you visit a secure website (https) and Firefox/IE pops up a warning saying their certificate cannot be verified or something of that sort, do not proceed unless you know for sure that the website you are visiting does not use a Certificate Authority (CA), and thus the website's certificate is instead self-signed. And of course always assume that for any insecure web connection (http), it may be possible for other's to sniff your traffic and see everything that is not encrypted.

Just some thoughts.

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