How do you use wi-fi on a daily/weekly basis without getting KILLED by snoopers?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Wilynn, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. Wilynn

    Wilynn TPF Noob!

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    At home I use my desktop computer for work and school. But now I want to start using my laptop at a public hot spot or two: coffee shops, the library, the airport, McDonald's, etc. That means I'll be going on the Internet via wi-fi on a regular basis...and exposing myself to hackers. You know that wi-fi is super unsecure, very unsecure. Figuratively speaking, a round of Russian Roulette is a safer sport than surfing wirelessly. I understand that when it comes to safe surfing a VPN (virtual private network) is the first thing a security minded person should have on their laptop.
    a) Is that true?
    b) If so, can you recommend the name of a good VPN?
    c) will the VPN slow down my surf sessions compared to the hard wired connection I use at home?
    d) one person said that a VPN is NOT the way to go. Check this out: he said that all I need is a good firewall and a good anti-virus protection program when I go wireless in public. That sounds a little nuts. Does that sound crazy? That sounds like a prescription for a virtual suicide. Of course I have both already in place, but is that to say that that's all you need to guard against packet sniffers when you're wireless in public - a firewall and an anti-virus progam? Sounds kinda incomplete to me. Do you agree or disagree with his statement?
     
  2. --ares--

    --ares-- TPF Noob!

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    Wifi isn't that unsecure, as long as you aren't doing something that could lead to some serious identity theft I wouldn't be worried. I suppose if someone was desperate enough to "hack" you they would use a packet sniffer, that alone would take too much time.
     
  3. altitude604

    altitude604 TPF Noob!

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    if you're that worried about security, don't use public hotspots.

    it's true though, with a proper firewall and up-to-date antivirus you should be fine. i've done it this way for years with no incident.
     
  4. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Just get a Mac, nobody hacks those :lol:
     
  5. clarinetJWD

    clarinetJWD The Naked Spammer Staff Member

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    Windows Vista and 7 (finally out) have a new networking feature that allows you to select your current network as Home, Work, or Public. When in public mode, it shuts off any connections to shared files, or anything that would be available on your home network. That in conjunction with just not doing anything stupid like paying bills or logging into secure accounts should be more than enough to not have to worry.

    With a good firewall and antivirus (I use Windows Defender for firewall [surprisingly good] and Avira free for antivirus) you should have no problems just browsing the internet.
     
  6. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    lulz ... "Z0|/\|g!!1!! H@x0rz R gunna git meeeee!!!11!"

    It's really not all that bad.

    A decent firewall will protect you from intruders. I use Agnitum Outpost Pro for it's proven security and its feverish attention to feature detail.

    A VPN will protect you from eavesdroppers. I have a Linux-based web server to which I connect using SSH tunneling (similar to a VPN). Everything I browse for on the web using a remote connection is encrypted up until it reaches my home connection. As a bonus, this method also gets around local network filters and limitations.
     
  7. altitude604

    altitude604 TPF Noob!

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    That feature is also in Windows Vista.

    For Firewall I'd recommend AVG as they have Anti-Spam, Anti-Virus, Firewall etc all in one.
     
  8. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Nope, they just steal them when you go for a refill on the coffee.
     
  9. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    SSH Tunneling, the only safe way to use public wifi
     

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