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what security programs should I get for surfing at public wifi


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#1 Tierra93

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:51 PM

My first laptop and want to take out with me but know there are dangers using the internet at a public wifi like the library.

Are there any good (especially free) programs that help keep you more secure (comodo pops up a ad for a paid service - can't remember what it called it)?

Thank you.

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#2 Didier Stevens

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

What OS do you use on your laptop?

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#3 Tierra93

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

windows 7 home premium 64 bit

#4 Didier Stevens

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:56 PM

And I assume that this public WiFi is unencrypted? Will you be accessing sites via HTTP (and not HTTPS)?

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#5 Tierra93

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

probably both

#6 Didier Stevens

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:53 PM

When you use HTTP on an unsecured WiFi connection, people can sniff the WiFi traffic and see everything you do.
When you use HTTPS on an unsecured WiFi connection, they can see the domains you visit, but not the content.

If a website asks you for your username and password and it uses HTTP, your username and password can be captured.

Are these things you want to prevent or are these OK for you?

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#7 Tierra93

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:59 PM

Would be best to prevent if possible

#8 Didier Stevens

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

Then you need a VPN. Are you familiar with VPNs?

TOR is also an option if you are sure that all your credentials go via HTTPS.

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#9 Tierra93

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:23 PM

I've heard of VPN but don't know about it. Not sure about my credentials and don't know about TOR either.

Thank you.

#10 Didier Stevens

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:49 AM

The type of VPN your are looking for is commonly called a VPN account and is often a paying service. If you Google for that, you'll find a lot of companies offering this service, together with tutorials and FAQs.

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#11 Didier Stevens

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:13 AM

And what you also should do when connecting to a public WiFi, is making sure that your Windows 7 is up to date, and also your antivirus and other security tools.
Make sure that your firewall is enabled, and when you join the public WiFi, make sure to instruct Windows that you are connecting to a public network.

Didier Stevens
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#12 Tierra93

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:40 AM

"And what you also should do when connecting to a public WiFi, is making sure that your Windows 7 is up to date, and also your antivirus and other security tools.
Make sure that your firewall is enabled, and when you join the public WiFi, make sure to instruct Windows that you are connecting to a public network."


I do all of the above even when not on public wifi. Every time I log into any of my computers I start updating all my security programs and running scans (Norton, Malwarebytes,Sypbot, spywareblaster, peerblock, windows udated, etc.) I use comodo firewall and it's enabled - always. I've only been in public once so far and made sure it was instructed that it was a public network.

Thank you very much.

Edited by Tierra93, 26 January 2013 - 10:41 AM.





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