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Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Wifi security on 02/17/2012 13:11:31 MST Print View

What do you guys do to protect information on your phone/computer, now that so much of what we do/send is over Wifi?

Sorry if this is a boring question by Chaff standards ;)

- Elizabeth

M W
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
WiFi Security on 02/17/2012 15:04:49 MST Print View

Turn on WPA2 encryption in your router and use a strong password (upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols); turn on MAC (media access control) address filtering (access lists) so ONLY your computers can even connect to your wifi network; password protect all your login accounts (even at home). Change your password periodically.

Note that the above only addresses security for a wifi network where you control the router (i.e. at home) and once you send that information out, it is in the clear unless you are making a secure (https) connection to a web server. If you are at a public wifi location (at a coffee shop for example), you will want to make sure that any sensitive information is being sent securely. Make sure your browser is using https when submitting sensitive information; make sure your mail client uses a secure connection to the mail server (most email clients support this but not all email providers do by default).

This is by no means a comprehensive list but it's a start.

Edited by rcmike on 02/17/2012 15:09:03 MST.

Jeremy B.
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Wifi security on 02/17/2012 15:30:32 MST Print View

1. Know your threats & surroundings. At home or at work, encryption (e.g. wpa2) should be applied to the wireless signal. The chance of someone doing something sinister is hopefully low, and the connection to various websites is likely not being messed with. Less "safe" are public wifi spots, and on the unsafe end of the spectrum are places like China or Las Vegas during the Defcon hacker conference). For such places I would suggest using an encrypted VPN to securely route your traffic to a safer location before it "enters" the public internet.

2. Don't keep sensitive information on the phone/computer if it's not encrypted. You never know when the phone/computer might grow legs and walk off. This is also a good reason to have backups. You do have backups, yes?

3. Realize that while there are ways around nearly all security measures, you probably aren't being targeting by someone with "Mission Impossible" resources and technology. Your goal is to make any random attacker move on to easier targets. (As we said in scouting, "you don't have to be faster than the bear; you just need to be faster than your slowest friend".)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Wifi security on 02/17/2012 15:41:48 MST Print View

Even more so than WiFi security is just how many people do not even have a lock on their smartphones. It is fascinating that they don't, considering how one is logged into email accounts, shopping, FB and even financial services....just sitting there unprotected!

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Wifi security on 02/17/2012 15:46:53 MST Print View

Just to make the point about China clearer , my daughter is using the Astrill VPN on her ipod touch and it works quite well. But for an idea of a real security nightmare read this.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/11/technology/electronic-security-a-worry-in-an-age-of-digital-espionage.html?scp=1&sq=internet%20security&st=cse

Christopher Chupka
(FatTexan) - M

Locale: NTX
GOOGLE on 02/17/2012 16:14:00 MST Print View

GOOGLE KNOWS ALL

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: GOOGLE on 02/17/2012 16:20:36 MST Print View

Which is why you may want to make this your default search engine even with the Chrome browser.
https://ixquick.com/eng/

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Wifi security on 02/17/2012 17:44:46 MST Print View

At home -- set up your router with an uncommon password -- and set encryption using WAP2 -- as discussed above. It's a one-time thing and easy to do... so why not?

When on the road... I really don't worry about it:

o I've used public wifi -- some password protected and most without -- sending / receiving email, skyping, browsing, etc. without any problems. And no, all this time, my email has never been hacked nor do I receive more than maybe 1-2 spam mail a week (if that).

o I've used public PC's countless times around the world, including supposedly "dodgy places" like China and eastern Europe -- again without issues. This includes checking bank balances and buying plane tickets. I do make sure that I transact only on secure ("https") websites -- which is pretty much always the case with airlines, banks, hotels, etc.

No one can provide you with 100% security whether real world or virtual world. But the risk really is pretty minimal -- and some common sense precaution makes that even less of a problem.

If we believe all the hype in our media, none of us would be backpacking or traveling. Ditto for web 'dangers'.

Edited by ben2world on 02/17/2012 17:45:22 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: GOOGLE on 02/17/2012 17:53:22 MST Print View

"GOOGLE KNOWS ALL"

Not even Apple can stop Google!! Read more here.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Password security on 02/17/2012 17:57:20 MST Print View

Ben, I can do that:

username: DavidinKenai
password: uncommon password

Here's a comic on that topic: http://xkcd.com/936/

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Password security on 02/17/2012 17:59:30 MST Print View

heh heh...

Edited by ben2world on 02/17/2012 18:32:42 MST.

Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Re: Wifi security on 02/17/2012 18:32:57 MST Print View

WiFi Security is an oxymoron.

Rob E
(eatSleepFish)

Locale: Canada
https on 02/17/2012 18:35:49 MST Print View

WPA2 encryption on your wifi router and make sure to use https on the web. Browser extensions like https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere are good. Run the updater for whatever operating system you use.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: GOOGLE on 02/17/2012 18:51:28 MST Print View

A more nuclear option Scroogle . The backstory.
http://www.scroogle.org/doctorow.html