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Old Jun 10th, 2009, 08:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Most people just go about their business and don't worry about it... just because it can happen doesn't mean it will happen to you. Another option to use when surfing in public hotspots is to use a VPN(Virtual Private Network), my knowledge is a little sketchy regarding them though, but as far as I'm aware everything that goes over the VPN connection is encrypted. I know they are supported in the Iphone and ipod touch, I'm not 100% sure, but I think you would need to install a program on your home computer, which you would then VPN into and would thus be as secure as if you were surfing from home.
Well, I'm not prepared to take a chance with financial information. Some of the other websites, like web-based email and Flickr are less of a concern, but I still don't want my passwords hacked.

I have read about VPN but I really don't understand the ins and outs of it. I've been looking at a company called Boingo that allows you to subscribe to hotspots all over the place. I'm trying to find out what kind of security they offer. If anyone here uses this company, I'd be interested in your feedback.
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Old Jun 11th, 2009, 04:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
This is all very confusing.
Not really. You're getting some bad info.

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Originally Posted by imageinnovation View Post
No, I wouldn't ever do banking on the iTouch, or anything involving financial transactions.
That's silly, unless you're referring to doing so on an OPEN (unsecure) wireless network. I wouldn't do my banking at a Starbucks, but on a secure wireless network (like your home), you are as safe as any internet connection can be.

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I'm thinking more about theft of passwords to things like web-based email accounts and my Flickr account. It sounds like you shouldn't lot onto anything that requires a password.
This is ridiculous. Ask yourself how in the world would wireless networks be so popular and widespread if you effectively couldn't use it to do anything. Really.

It's good to be thinking about security, but this is WAY overboard. Financial sites encrypt passwords, most websites mask your password, and best of all you're on OS X. Surf without fear.

OPEN wireless networks COULD be intercepted within their very limited range, but the odds are very low. Using strong passwords on a strong secured (I suggest WPA2), non-SSID-broadcasting wireless network brings those odds down to almost zero (and you'd likely SEE the hacker in your line of sight!!). You're in more danger from someone looking over your shoulder as you type.

I've had my bank ID stolen twice, both times from RESTAURANTS, the only businesses left that take your bank card AWAY FROM YOU, carry it out of your sight, and return it some minutes later. This practice is no longer acceptable to me.

There's cautious, and then there's paranoid. Apply plain old common sense and lose the fear.

Last edited by chas_m; Jun 11th, 2009 at 08:08 AM. Reason: Changed to "OS X" for clarity.
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Old Jun 11th, 2009, 07:04 AM   #13
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Not really. You're getting some bad info.

That's silly, unless you're referring to doing so on an OPEN (unsecure) wireless network. I wouldn't do my banking at a Starbucks, but on a secure wireless network (like your home), you are as safe as any internet connection can be.

This is ridiculous. Ask yourself how in the world would wireless networks be so popular and widespread if you effectively couldn't use it to do anything. Really.

It's good to be thinking about security, but this is WAY overboard. Financial sites encrypt passwords, most websites mask your password, and best of all you're on a Mac. Surf without fear.

OPEN wireless networks COULD be intercepted within their very limited range, but the odds are very low. Using strong passwords on a strong secured (I suggest WPA2), non-SSID-broadcasting wireless network brings those odds down to almost zero (and you'd likely SEE the hacker in your line of sight!!). You're in more danger from someone looking over your shoulder as you type.

There's cautious, and then there's paranoid. Apply plain old common sense and lose the fear.
I understand that if I'm on a secured network like the one at my university, there should be no problem. I'm only concerned about using public WIFI hotspots like those found at airports, hotels and locations like Starbucks etc.

Since I've decided against getting an iPhone and using the cell provider's data network, I'm going to have to depend on these public sites to access the internet with the iTouch. This is all new to me and I have no idea how secure such hotspots are. I'm trying to educate myself and not make assumptions that might get me into trouble.
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Old Jun 11th, 2009, 08:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by imageinnovation View Post
I understand that if I'm on a secured network like the one at my university, there should be no problem. I'm only concerned about using public WIFI hotspots like those found at airports, hotels and locations like Starbucks etc.

Since I've decided against getting an iPhone and using the cell provider's data network, I'm going to have to depend on these public sites to access the internet with the iTouch. This is all new to me and I have no idea how secure such hotspots are. I'm trying to educate myself and not make assumptions that might get me into trouble.
Which is all fine. But what I'm saying is that your flickr, email and suchlike passwords are all masked by the provider, and most public networks are not "wide open," and in any event the odds of you being on a network that a hacker is scanning are much higher than, say, the odds of you winning the lottery.

I prefer not to deal with highly sensitive information (like bank/medical/credit) information while I'm on an OPEN (no password) wireless network, but that's all I'm worried about. Many "public" wifi spots (particularly hotels and Starbucks) make you "log in" using a check-in page with a password of some kind before they let you on to their network, and now you know why. It's indicative (but not guaranteed) that they're using some kind of encryption on the network so that Joe Blow can't sit out in the parking lot and scan transmissions.

Which brings up another point: public wifi spots generally have a range of less than 50 feet, IOW the evil hacker who's trying to steal your passwords is probably three tables over from you. IOW, not likely.

Still, you might feel better if your email provider offers an SSL login, or a site you log into frequently uses https: rather than http: for that.

Like I said, the odds are low that you'll ever be at serious risk, but everyone's "vigilance comfort level" is different.
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Old Jun 11th, 2009, 10:25 AM   #15
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^^ Thank you. You've provided me with a lot of very useful information -- exactly what I've been looking for and haven't been able to find so far. My comfort level has just gone up and this makes me much happier about buying the iTouch. I appreciate your time.

I should add that since I never even win a free ticket in the lottery, I should be very safe on the WIFI networks.
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