Shared Wifi- Any Risks?

7 replies
If I use the wifi from my neighbours is there any risk? I mean could they get my paswords to login to my different accounts like paypal...would they see my online activity ? (pages I visit...and so on)?

Important: I noticed that on my computer the option: filed sharing was activated...and as far as I can remember I didn't activate it activated by default?

#risks #shared #wifi
  • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
    A few years ago a friend of mine was sitting at a Starbucks working on his laptop when he noticed that some of his files were starting to get deleted.

    But that wasn't the worst part...

    The hacker found his tax return file and emailed it to everyone on his contacts list.

    What was your question, again?

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    • Profile picture of the author sidmister86
      You should try wavespot wireless, its facebook enabled wifi router, where only your FB friends have acess to you WiFi, and its a super secure network too, this way your passkey is secure and you become part of the web 2.0 revolution
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  • Profile picture of the author Gail Sober
    You should search Youtube for "man in the middle attack".

    Probably not an issue with a neighbor but definitely could be for anyone using a laptop in public places.
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
    As Bill has stated anytime you share a network (ie a wifi connection) then everyone can see what everyone else is doing. There was a shocking news item in the UK not long ago about businessmen using wifi in coffee shops to do detailed things and access banking. These businessmen where shocked when the reporter told them what they were doing!

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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Burton
    I started to answer this, but went back to check, and saw you are listed as a "european marketer" and no location given.

    I know that under U.S. Laws (although maybe unlikely to be prosecuted), this falls into the category of "unauthorized use of a computer network" which carries limited penalties, but the instant you interact with a financial institution, many government agencies, or by some not very creative stretches, your own business websites, you have crossed into "unauthorized use of a computer network for financial or personal gain." Which under the strictest applications of law, could result in prison terms.

    It's the American I.T. professional in me sneaking out to talk.

    Now back to your question. The neighbor would be considered (in most jurisdictions) well within their rights to place a packet sniffer on their own network. If they granted permission to use their network, they may be required to provide you notice, but if you're jumping onto their network without permission they generally are not required to offer you any notice.

    The danger of a packet sniffer is that it can literally capture any data you send, or that is sent to you, over that network. Encryption helps, but honestly SSL encryption isn't that strong if a good package were used and since you're on their network they can be sure they have access to EVERY single packet, thus the highest likelihood of breaking the encryption.

    Take this with a grain of salt. I'm someone who encrypts my personal files with a 4 kilobit key. Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean I'm not right.

    - = Signature on Vacation = -
    (We all need a break from what we do for a living. I thought it was time my signature got a break too)

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    • Profile picture of the author dlinden
      I've gotten a virus 3 times before for using shared wifi from a neighbor and had to clean everything off my laptop to remove the virus.

      I wouldn't suggest you use a shared connection unless you have a very good anti-virus tool

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  • Profile picture of the author Raindance
    I use shared wifi in my college all the time, never experienced any problems. Although, I NEVER opened my finance websites over there. But seeing the above replies, I think it is certainly not recommended.
    Making Money without Websites
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