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Public Wifi Connection Security


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Andrew

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:41 AM

Here in the great city of San Francisco, the local government is starting a program which hopes to make the entire city one big free hotspot. Lucky me, I live in one of the test areas and have been accessing the internet through the unencrypted, unsecured public WiFi for a couple of hours now.

I'm wondering what I can do on my end of the connection to ensure that my data isn't being intercepted by nefarious evildoers like my neighbor, Al, who will steal my identity and move to Mexico.

Windows XP Home (laptop with WiFi) Windows XP Pro SP2 (desktop, connects to WiFi via wired network through laptop). I use ZoneAlarm Pro as my firewall.

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 04 May 2006 - 12:44 AM.


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#2 Snapper

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:53 PM

well, i am guessing at how they are doing it, but if you bought a router (wireless), connect it to the free wireless, then make your router your gateway through the internet, that would put a hardware firewall between you and the public
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#3 Andrew

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 04:28 AM

I'm using the wireless card that came with my laptop. Would I need to buy a wireless router and connect to the public WiFi and then connect my laptop to the router via the card?

#4 Snapper

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 09:39 AM

thats exactly what i was suggesting, yes. this gives you a hardware firewall between you and the public
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#5 Andrew

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 10:23 AM

Ah, good! Many thanks!

#6 boopme

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 08:09 PM

You should read this

http://www.jiwire.com/wi-fi-security-intro...on-overview.htm

Top 10 Security Tips for Public Hotspots

1.Make sure you're connected to a legitimate access point.
2.Encrypt files before transferring or emailing them.
3.Use a virtual private network (VPN).
4.Use a personal firewall.
5.Use anti-virus software.
6.Update your operating system regularly.
7.Be aware of people around you.
8.Use Web-based email that employs secure http (https).
9.Turn off file sharing.
10.Password-protect your computer and important files.
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#7 Andrew

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 02:59 PM

1.Make sure you're connected to a legitimate access point.

I know for sure. It's provided free by the city. Good advice in any case, though.

2.Encrypt files before transferring or emailing them.

4.Use a personal firewall.
5.Use anti-virus software.

I use ZoneAlarm Pro and Avast! Antivirus Home, I understand that they're pretty good

6.Update your operating system regularly.
7.Be aware of people around you.
8.Use Web-based email that employs secure http (https).
9.Turn off file sharing.
10.Password-protect your computer and important files.


Thanks! Excellent advice. :thumbsup:

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 09 May 2006 - 03:00 PM.


#8 boopme

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 03:39 PM

Happy you found it useful. I came across that looking at wi fi security a while back and I saved it. Well it came in handy :thumbsup: that's good.
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#9 HitSquad

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 03:11 PM

I can vouch for iPIG (free vpn client). I use it on my notebook.
Can never be too sure about those hotspots. :thumbsup:




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