23 replies
Hi,

Let's say I want to log into my bank account from a public wifi connection of a dirty internet cafe in a bad part of town - a famous hangout for hackers and identity thieves.

Also, I must use this cafe as I have no choice.

How do I keep my data completely safe?

Looking forward to your answer if you have one.

Thanks,
Donna
#public #safe #wifi
  • Profile picture of the author Lawrh
    Get Behind the Shield! Hotspot Shield by AnchorFree

    This creates a VPN to a proxy. Your data is encrypted at the comm stack, nothing leaves your computer in a readable state. You have to put up with a banner, but you are secure. Anyone using a public access point should use something like this.
    Signature

    “Strategy without action is a day-dream; action without strategy is a nightmare.” – Old Japanese proverb -

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1437241].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sissy76
      What a great question.
      I'm planning to travel next year & haven't thought about this kind of security yet. Thanks for posting and making me aware of one more thing to add to my to-do list before flying out!

      Cheers,
      Sissy
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1437246].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mojojuju
      Originally Posted by Lawrh View Post

      Get Behind the Shield! Hotspot Shield by AnchorFree

      This creates a VPN to a proxy. Your data is encrypted at the comm stack, nothing leaves your computer in a readable state. You have to put up with a banner, but you are secure. Anyone using a public access point should use something like this.
      This is a good suggestion, but I have used Hotspot Shield and it is slow - slow as in "you won't get any work done" slow.

      What I do now instead is I surf privately using an SSH tunnel proxy that goes through my internet connection at home rather than a service like Hotspot Shield. It works out wonderfully and it's fast. What's also good is that I can use ports like 22 or 10000 that are commonly blocked on public wireless networks.

      I set this all up (DD-wrt software with SSH server) on a Linskys wrt-54g router that my neighbor was about to throw in the trash.
      Signature

      :)

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1438695].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by Lawrh View Post

      Get Behind the Shield! Hotspot Shield by AnchorFree

      This creates a VPN to a proxy. Your data is encrypted at the comm stack, nothing leaves your computer in a readable state. You have to put up with a banner, but you are secure. Anyone using a public access point should use something like this.
      If you need such a thing, **********NEVER********** and I mean ********************************NEVER************* *****************
      do business with that bank or ecommerce site. PERIOD!!!!!


      There are THREE things that need to be secure,...

      1. The connection between YOU and the data entry advice. A firewall will NEVER help here! NEVER! You need to make sure nobody is watching you, you don't have keyloggers, etc....

      2. The connection between your data entry device and the system on the other side. A firewall will NEVER help here. NEVER! So HOW do you do it? You DON'T! You CAN'T! The server has to handle it, and they generally do this by using SSL or HTTPS.

      3. The connection between the target connection, and the database. AGAIN, a firewall can't help. You have to hope the target server company takes the proper care.


      BTW WHY would anyone waste a lot of time adding a bug to a keylogger? They would probably just log the keys, so deletes, etc... would NOT cause it to fail! Quite the contrary, if a code was entered for a firewall to look for, like your credit card number, IT would fail to catch it.

      As for a public wifi? If it is encrypted(like with WEP), it is almost as good as wired. Once it hits the first router, it CAN be easily SNIFFED! If it is NOT encrypted, it can be sniffed by someone on the street. In EITHER case, SSL is BETTER!

      Steve
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1439203].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
    Originally Posted by DonnaLeona View Post

    Hi,

    Let's say I want to log into my bank account from a public wifi connection of a dirty internet cafe in a bad part of town - a famous hangout for hackers and identity thieves.

    Also, I must use this cafe as I have no choice.

    How do I keep my data completely safe?

    Looking forward to your answer if you have one.

    Thanks,
    Donna
    Mr Myiagi says 'best defense, no be there'.

    Even if you encrypt what goes out, you still need to make sure no one is peeking at you typing away as well. You would be surprised what they can pick up from that.

    Did it once, got my hand slapped, will never do it again.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1437325].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dhalek
    Banned
    [DELETED]
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1437465].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DonnaLeona
      What I've learned so far:

      Use a firewall

      Beware of being watched

      Use a VPN

      Anything else?

      Thanks,
      Donna
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1437573].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Billy Rey
    hmmm... so what do you do when you're out of the country? how do you go online, besides the hotel LAN?
    Signature

    ✔✔✔Leapfroggr Digital Marketing+SEO Services✔✔✔
    [/CENTER]

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1437880].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JustVisiting
      Originally Posted by Billy Rey View Post

      hmmm... so what do you do when you're out of the country? how do you go online, besides the hotel LAN?
      Loads of places. Try a simple search on Google for 'wifi directory' and you will find listings of wifi hotspots worldwide.

      And this next comment I make is purely for information only: Very few people/businesses secure their wifi access. Your laptop/notebook can detect wifi on almost every strreet in every city or town. This is illegal and I would never do this myself.(legal disclaimer)
      Signature
      "...If at first you don't succeed; call it Version 1.0"
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1437956].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
      Originally Posted by Billy Rey View Post

      hmmm... so what do you do when you're out of the country? how do you go online, besides the hotel LAN?
      When I was working overseas, I just sucked it up and bought dialup, so I could do it from my room. Yeah, it's slow as molasses, but it sure beats ID fraud.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1438459].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JMPruitt
    You just have to be careful and warry of other people. keep your computer protected and use encryption.

    When I started my aff business, I didnt have internet. had to use a local cafes wifi and I have had no problems.
    jUst be smart about it. dont let people watching you type your passwords, and follow the other stuff.
    Good luck to you.
    Signature
    follow my relationship marketing blog for tips on building more traffic without relying on Google's whims.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1437887].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TristanPerry
    Public wifi (i.e. where anyone can use) is not safe at all, no. In fact, it's quite unsafe - as above, unless you use a secure VPN or something, never ever consider doing anything sensitive online using a public wifi.
    Signature
    Plagiarism Guard - Protect Against Content Theft
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1438625].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mojojuju
    Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

    It's impossible, but here's another suggestion.

    To protect against keyloggers, I type in online banking usernames and passwords in a very random fashion i.e. not sequentially from left to right.
    I have never heard of doing such a thing, but it sure would interfere with anyone using a key-logger to spy on you.
    Signature

    :)

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1438640].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Here's another suggestion...

      Get the portable version of Roboform and keep it and your data on an encrypted thumb drive. When you need the log-ins, etc., you click the Roboform button and it fills in the forms. No keystrokes to log, no typing to video, just a mouse click or tap on the touchpad. When you are done, unplug the thumb drive and keep it in your pocket/money belt, etc.

      Even if someone steals your laptop, they don't get your usernames, passwords, etc.

      That, and measures like HotSpotShield (post #2 above), should keep you as sae as possible.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1438659].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author kevinfar
    good tip on writing confidential data in an scrambled manner.. Will surely confuse keyloggers and anyone who reads their data.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1438691].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author lanta99
    Well, I've had a lot of success with xerobank although they are only offering paid plans.

    Oh yeah, or you could use tor (which is free)
    Signature
    --Live SEO Challenge--
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1438705].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
      Try using a cellular card, I know they are pricey but this is business and can be a tax`deduction.

      The speeds have improved, and coverage also.

      On a side note - if it goes thru the air - it can be stolen ... encryption or not.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1438818].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author xiaophil
        Some pretty cool ideas here.

        A lot of folk are suggesting encryption. While that's generically a good idea for lots of reasons, if the link to your bank isn't already encrypted it might be time to find another bank.

        Here's one that hasn't been mentioned - one-time passwords. Effective over an insecure link because the password will never work again, and so it's useless even if it's sniffed.

        A lot of banks have various hardware security devices available now. USB based smart-cards are one, or time-synced random keys. Might be worth asking. Generally the idea is that you need both the password and device to login with a different password each time.

        ProductCreator that's an interesting idea, I take it you mean using the mouse too to get past a keylogger. Even if one snapped your screen it would only get asterisks for the password I guess. Thing is, if your machine was compromised to the extent of having a keylogger installed, being able to sniff a form submission is not so hard either.

        mojojuju, nice setup! Kudos to you. I love embedded Linux and was even paid once to hack¹ on a similar MIPS router for almost a year. Happy days.

        I'm guessing you have a static IP at home or dyndns or something, but it's worth mentioning (for those that don't hack¹ on Linux routers) that a very similar setup can be achieved with a hosting account (if they allow SSH) or a VPS or other server, instead of a home-based machine. A very effective, easy, fast and cheap multi-purpose encrypted tunnel. If anyone's interested in that you could google firefox ssh for details on how to set it up.

        Cheers,

        Phil


        ¹ What is a Hacker?
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1439156].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bill Corners
    When you go to your bank's website to login, you should see https://www.... at the beginning, if not, don't login because it's not safe.

    The s in https means it's a secure connection between your web browser and the website, so everything that passes between the two is encrypted, so you don't need vpn.

    To avoid keylogging, type your username and current (and perhaps new) password in notepad or something then do copy and paste. Once you're logged in, you can change your password (copy and paste) before logging out since you're on a secure connection already.

    Of course, don't save the text file just to be safe.
    Signature
    WARNING ...
    This Website Will Reveal the Secrets to Building and Sucking Unlimited Amounts of CASH
    From Your List ... All On Complete Autopilot ... CLICK HERE NOW Before it Gets Shut Down!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1439450].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DonnaLeona
      There are some great ideas here that I was not aware of. This is really important considering how many people use public wifi without even realizing the dangers.

      In my neighborhood many of the home wifi networks aren't even secured with a password. It makes me think that with so many easy targets available, even taking simple measures makes you less likely to be a victim.

      Thanks,
      Donna
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1439543].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jig
    Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

    To protect against keyloggers, I type in online banking usernames and passwords in a very random fashion i.e. not sequentially from left to right.

    This won't protect against loggers that take a screenshot but most of them don't anyway, they simply record keystrokes.
    Very interesting.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475500].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Darth Executor
    Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

    It's impossible, but here's another suggestion.

    To protect against keyloggers, I type in online banking usernames and passwords in a very random fashion i.e. not sequentially from left to right.

    This won't protect against loggers that take a screenshot but most of them don't anyway, they simply record keystrokes.
    I do something similar: i have a file where I keep all my stuff and just cut and paste the password and username from there. won't help if someone hacks your computer and steals files, but as you said, it'll help against keyloggers

    not sure how taking a screenshot will help someone get your password though. passwords are usually obscured by the * symbol when you type them.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475532].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Texjd
    A lot of good ideas and methods of protection but the best protection is not to do any financial or high risk work in that kind of situation. For that matter, don't even do anything at a questionable location.

    I'll give you an idea of how you can easily be tricked. Let's say you are wary and take any or all of the precautions mentioned above. You open your laptop and see the cafe name on a connection and connect. But the connection isn't the cafe, it's a guy (or gal) sitting within range and this is not the cafe's wifi. He doesn't want to break your security right now, he just wants to get into your laptop and place a file that will run later when you think everything is safe. Won't go into the methods but believe me when I say there are many ways to do this.

    This is a very common tactic used by many hackers both here and abroad. Better safe than sorry, just skip the cafe and go to a more secure location.

    And Donna is correct about the unsecured wifi networks everywhere. I often just turn on my wifi search on my phone and see commercial and home networks wide open everywhere.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1475600].message }}

Trending Topics