Wireless Internet forum: Security concerns on public Wi-Fi access

by: Lee Koo (ADMIN) July 23, 2010 1:57 PM PDT

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Security concerns on public Wi-Fi access

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) ModeratorCNET staff - 7/23/10 1:57 PM

Question:

Security concerns on public Wi-Fi access


I have heard much about how Wi-Fi is not secure. Yet last
week a news report lead me to believe that the problem is
when people log into Wi-Fi networks where the
administrator/company is unknown and unscrupulous as they can
see what you are doing and then steal passwords, credit card
numbers, and so on. The report inferred that a Wi-Fi network
is OK if it is from a trusted source like your known hotel
chain, Borders, or Starbucks where the network manager
wouldn't do that--we assume anyway. Is this true that the
problem comes from is who is running the network or are all
Wi-Fi open networks easily open to hackers and theft? A
follow up question, would a Wi-Fi network from a trusted
source with a simple access password for all (even if given
to a hacker) stop all the problems? And are there actual ways
that one can securely use public Wi-Fi networks without
worries of hackers and possible theft of personal
information? Thank you.

--Submitted by Jon M.

Here are some featured member answers to get you started, but
please read all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this question.

Public access points are risky. Period.--Submitted by Hyort
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7585_102-0.html?messageID=3344817#3344817

Public Wi-Fi and security --Submitted by richj120952
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7585_102-0.html?messageID=3344312#3344312

Wi-Fi Hotspots aren't secure, you just have to surf smart. --Submitted by spdickey1
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7585_102-0.html?messageID=3344255#3344255

It all depends --Submitted by Alain Martel1
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7585_102-0.html?messageID=3344814#3344814

Thank you to all who contributed!


If you have any additional advice or suggestions for Jon, please click the reply link and submit away. If you are providing an answer please be as detailed as possible. Thanks!

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