Accessing WiFi in public spaces
by richj120952 - 6/27/08 7:56 PM
In Reply to: What are the dos and don'ts for using public Wi-Fi? by Lee Koo (ADMIN)
Really all you need to do is what you should do normally, even at home. You need a good firewall on your computer. If it is a Windows based machine, find a firewall like Zone Alarm or other that really does block discovery attempts. (The basic one in Windows is poor.) Be sure to disable disk and printer sharing.
Then, remember, that with a sniffer, anybody there can see your transactions, clearly. So, if you are in a position to put in a password without encryption, it is possible for someone to sniff that. Email needs to be encrypted, and it would be best to use a VPN system back to the home office. HTTPS is also encrypted, so that is somewhat safe. (Either the color of the URL line will change or a little lock will appear at the bottom bar when https is engaged.)
Then, get on, and get off ASAP. Time is an enemy. You would be surprised at the amount of information you can get on someone just sniffing the traffic. It is kind of like listening to someone on a talk on a cell phone.