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Wireless security on the road...is secure really secure?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by GEOFF, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. GEOFF

    GEOFF Thread Starter

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    Mar 22, 1999
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    In my Home Office using my Notebook and wireless router I have WEP encryption with a Network security key. But I am often away on the road in Asia and I connect to both unsecured and WEP secured wireless networks in restaurants, hotels and internet cafes.

    When I need to log in to certain web sites to attend to important personal info like bank accounts and credit cards and make payments etc I often avoid it for fear of this information being visible or accessible to others, even on the WEP secured ones.

    I 'm wondering though, if it shows the connection as WEP secured in Manage Wireless Connections, does that mean things are secure or can other people using the same wireless pick up on what others around them are sending and receiving?

    I guess what I am asking is, how can I know if a wireless connection is safe on the road and is there anything I can do to make it safe or safer? I suspect many others encounter this same issue.

    Thanks,
    G
    Vista Home Premium
    Norton Internet Security 2008
     
  2. into9rod

    into9rod

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    Jan 14, 2008
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    Its a good question there are some tactics to try to hide your ip for example but i dont know if it works because as you said your using several connections so the ip is gonna change anyway ill be more worried if i have to give my personal information to a unsecure website.

    what i can suggest you is to download the McAfee site advisor this program is going to tell you if the site your visiting is reliable or not for fishing ,scams etc...

    this is the link:http://www.download.com/McAfee-SiteAdvisor-for-Firefox/3000-11745_4-10493671.html?cdlpid=10663377
    to install this you need the latest version of FireFox



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  3. GEOFF

    GEOFF Thread Starter

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    That's a good idea.

    However, this example makes me concerned. I am in a restaurant. They give me the password to connect and it is the same password 20 or more other people in the place use. It shows WEP secure in my notebook, but how about the 20 other people around me if I am signing in to a bank site for example and doing some banking?

    If someone in there is a little tech savy and looking for information, can they not have acccess to what the people around them are doing as everyone is logged in together?

    Sure, I can turn off all my file sharing. And maybe Vista is fairly secure. But how about what I am doing with my browser on the internet? Is it possible any of the people signed in sitting there in the restaurant could track or see that? Or could someone who works in the place sign in as well and hack into and see what I am doing? Or am I just being paranoid?
    G
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    First off, you should have a software firewall with no exceptions enabled for your scenario. Stuff like on-line banking uses HTTPS, an encrypted layer for security. However, I advise against on-line banking in insecure locations anyway.

    You mention WEP at your office, you do realize that WEP is very insecure and can be compromised in minutes by anyone using commonly available software tools, right? You're really not any more secure in your office...
     
  5. GEOFF

    GEOFF Thread Starter

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    Ok, thanks JohnWill for the info. Firewall on with no exceptions enabled is noted. Yes, as I said, I avoided on-line banking in insecure locations beccause I was worried about it.

    Regarding my home office: I live on a farm and the road is over 400 feet away and the closest house 1000 feet so I thought that means someone would have to park half way up my driveway to try to tap into my D-Link. Anyway, that being said, in order to add another layer of security beyond the WEP to keep intruders off a home wireless network what would you suggest? Does the router not have a security layer as well that can be enabled? Been so long since I set up the router I can't remember......:confused:
    G
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    If you configure WPA with a long and random key, you're very secure, no other measures for the wireless security needed. Of course, I always change the password on the router's configuration access too, but that's way down the list of importance if the wireless channel is very secure.
     
  7. GEOFF

    GEOFF Thread Starter

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    Ok thanks. Will do.
    G
     
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