Q&A How to avoid being tracked when signing-in using Public WiFi?

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HarborFront

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Hi

I don't mean using proxy/VPN to hide your IP address.

I mean when signing in using my handphone number when using public WiFi.

Earlier on I used to register using email and password when using our national public WiFi. Now, if I use a secure email then it's difficult to be tracked.

The change is coming in that I need to sign-in using my handphone number to access the national public WiFi. Even if I buy a top-up card I still need to register my true particulars(with an identity card) with the seller(which is a requirement by law). Fast food outlets like KFC/McDonalds/Starbucks etc are also using our national public WiFi otherwise their own WiFi is slow and always disconnect after a certain time period say every half hour.

So, is there anyway here to avoid being tracked when signing in using my handphone number?
 

Spawn

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Create an Alias for to use Public Wi-Fi networks, but what you mean by "if I use a secure email then it's difficult to be tracked"??

Something else I found to feed the paranoia:
  • Phones with SIM cards can be tracked.
  • Phones with IMEI numbers can be tracked.
  • Phones with no IMEI numbers are Illegal and (probably) Counterfeit goods.
Everything You Should Know About Your IMEI Number
 

Amelith Nargothrond

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Don't quite understand your query, but if mobile 4G/3G internet is not expensive in your country, why not use a mobile wifi router (if wifi is the requirement)?
There are different types, with integrated battery, with 3g/4g modem/dongle support, ones in which you can insert the sim card...

Like this, you can avoid using public wifi networks.
 

HarborFront

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Yes, a SIM card is for you to surf 3G/4G. And using a SIM card (even a mobile WiFi hotspot requires a SIM card which I own one) you can be tracked since it's tie to your telco(s). Even using a top-up SIM card can also get me tracked since I need to register my real particulars with the seller which is a requirement by the law

For free public WiFi there's no need to sign-in using your handphone number but, usually, your username(with the ISP) and a password will do. This is the current practice. Normally, when you sign up with the ISP for use of their WiFi you'll require an email address so as to verify the receipt of the password. You can set up many many accounts using this method since emails like hotmail, yahoo, gmail etc are free.

Now, the rules have changed. Using the national public WiFi requires signing in using your handphone number instead. You can't setup, say 20 accounts, unless you sign up many data plans and buy 20 SIM cards with this method. Like me I have only 3 SIM cards which means tracking me becomes much much more easier.

So, any way to avoid this?

Thanks
 

Arequire

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The change is coming in that I need to sign-in using my handphone number to access the national public WiFi. Even if I buy a top-up card I still need to register my true particulars(with an identity card) with the seller(which is a requirement by law).
How does the identity card fit in? What details does it contain? Do you have to use it every time you register a new phone number?
 

HarborFront

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How does the identity card fit in? Do you have to use it every time you register a new phone number?
Yes, if I sign up a new line with the telco they'll will need my personal details and this is done by filling up a form and taking a copy of my ID card. If I buy a top-up SIM card the seller will also need my true details which is a requirement by the law.

Only the official ID card will show my name, my photo, date of birth, home address, ID card number etc

This is the practice in my country. Previously if you buy a top-up SIM card there's no requirement of the seller to record your identity but this practice was changed a few years back. The authority said this is for tracking purpose to avoid criminals abusing the system without registration.
 
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Arequire

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Yes, if I sign up a new line with the telco they'll will need my personal details and this is done by filling up a form and taking a copy of my ID card. If I buy a top-up SIM card the seller will also need my true details which is a requirement by the law.

Only the official ID card will show my name, my photo, date of birth, home address, ID card number etc

This is the practice in my country. Previously if you buy a top-up SIM card there's no requirement of the seller to record your identity but this practice was changed a few years back. The authority said this is for tracking purpose to avoid criminals to abuse the system without registration.
You're pretty much screwed then if you're unable to register a new phone to allow use of the wifi without giving up your ID card. There would be a way around it but it'd be illegal and not worth the potential prison sentence.

Honestly you're better off just living with the tracking. Just don't commit any crime or browse anything that could be considered untoward whilst using public wifi.
 

Arequire

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One other question: Are those ID cards electronic? As in, do they need to be scanned or swiped by the vendor when you go to top up?
I'm assuming they're not just a piece of laminated paper with your personal details written on them.
 

onreact

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May 3, 2017
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Hey HF!

Excuse me if I ask stupid questions but it seems I don't fully understand your problem.

When you want to protect your privacy why do you want to use a "public" WiFi then? That's a bit like asking "how can I ensure my privacy on a public toilet."

Also which country are we talking about? I've never heard of a "national public WiFi" and I follow tech news for a few years now. Most countries aka nations have some level of surveillance going on, some more, some less. Thus the decision whether you can use a "national" WiFi privately also depends on the nation you are in.

I'm not even sure what kind of hardware you are talking about when you say "handphone". Do you mean a mobile phone or smartphone? I use my landline phone also with a hand. I also have Voice IP phone I can use with my hand. This way every phone is a "handphone".

I'm not a security expert, just a normal guy trying to use common sense to get some level of privacy and security online. I'd suggest not to use "public" connections when you want to remain "private". Set up a VPN at home and use TOR or whatever.

Sincerely, tad

Hi

I don't mean using proxy/VPN to hide your IP address.

I mean when signing in using my handphone number when using public WiFi.

Earlier on I used to register using email and password when using our national public WiFi. Now, if I use a secure email then it's difficult to be tracked.

The change is coming in that I need to sign-in using my handphone number to access the national public WiFi. Even if I buy a top-up card I still need to register my true particulars(with an identity card) with the seller(which is a requirement by law). Fast food outlets like KFC/McDonalds/Starbucks etc are also using our national public WiFi otherwise their own WiFi is slow and always disconnect after a certain time period say every half hour.

So, is there anyway here to avoid being tracked when signing in using my handphone number?
 

HarborFront

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Oct 9, 2016
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One other question: Are those ID cards electronic? As in, do they need to be scanned or swiped by the vendor when you go to top up?
I'm assuming they're not just a piece of laminated paper with your personal details written on them.
For topping up you just give the seller the phone number will do. But when you buy the top-up SIM card you'll need registration. This is the requirement of the law. The national ID card is non-electronic plastic card and you can pay cash for the topping up.
 

HarborFront

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Hey HF!

Excuse me if I ask stupid questions but it seems I don't fully understand your problem.

When you want to protect your privacy why do you want to use a "public" WiFi then? That's a bit like asking "how can I ensure my privacy on a public toilet."

Also which country are we talking about? I've never heard of a "national public WiFi" and I follow tech news for a few years now. Most countries aka nations have some level of surveillance going on, some more, some less. Thus the decision whether you can use a "national" WiFi privately also depends on the nation you are in.

I'm not even sure what kind of hardware you are talking about when you say "handphone". Do you mean a mobile phone or smartphone? I use my landline phone also with a hand. I also have Voice IP phone I can use with my hand. This way every phone is a "handphone".

I'm not a security expert, just a normal guy trying to use common sense to get some level of privacy and security online. I'd suggest not to use "public" connections when you want to remain "private". Set up a VPN at home and use TOR or whatever.

Sincerely, tad
When you are outdoor you either use your 3G/4G SIM card to surf the net or to use public WiFi. The subject title states clearly.

National public WiFi means the WiFi is free and provided by the government as opposed to those public WiFi provided by say KFC/McDonalds/Starbucks etc. I believe if you check the net there are countries whereby the WiFi is provided by the government for free in public places.

Handphone aka smartphone nowadays.
 

HarborFront

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What about Abine Blur Premium?
Blur: Keep your web activity and personal info private

Masked Phone
No need to give anyone your real phone number - use a Masked Phone number. Block telemarketers and other unwanted callers. Make anonymous outgoing calls.

It's not free, but you Pay for Privacy in this era.

You might be able to get away AFTER you connect to the WiFi internet. But I'm not sure whether will it work during the signing in to the WiFi.

Actually, I put up this subject is to see anyway to bypass this signing in using the handphone number instead of traditional signing in using an email address(tied to the ISP) and a password. I guess I have to wait to see how the system works when its being implemented. One way is to surf the net at KFC/McDonalds/Starbucks etc using their WiFi provided they maintain their traditional log in using email and password system
 

Myriad

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May 22, 2016
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You can use a Raspberry Pi to make a mobile phone .

GSM modules are easily available for this purposes and the modules will have their own IMEI .
This will not correlate to any particular make and model of phone of course .

The SIM will be "loosely coupled" to the IMEI number
( it will be part of the meta-data that is sent when the "phone" connects to a mobile network )

On the legal issue :-
Only manufacturers are legally permitted to assign IMEI numbers , but in this case
you ARE the manufacturer :)
 

HarborFront

Level 59
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Oct 9, 2016
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You can use a Raspberry Pi to make a mobile phone .

GSM modules are easily available for this purposes and the modules will have their own IMEI .
This will not correlate to any particular make and model of phone of course .

The SIM will be "loosely coupled" to the IMEI number
( it will be part of the meta-data that is sent when the "phone" connects to a mobile network )

On the legal issue :-
Only manufacturers are legally permitted to assign IMEI numbers , but in this case
you ARE the manufacturer :)
Hi

Thanks but I'm more concerned with signing into public WiFi
 

HarborFront

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Oct 9, 2016
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Ok, just tried signing in to my country's national WiFi using handphone number and guess what

First, it asked me to key in and confirm my handphone number. So I keyed in a phony handphone number and confirmed it.

Next, it asked me to verify I'm not a robot by keying in a CAPTCHA number. I did that

Then it send a One Time Password(OTP) to my handphone and asked me to key in that OTP number. I can't receive that since I keyed a phony handphone number in the first place

So I was defeated! :rolleyes:

I think there's some kind of service on the net that provides a phony handphone number so as to receive such OTP confirmation when requested. Important is that such a service must be able to accept the number of characters of your country's handphone. Anyone knows of such a service?
 
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onreact

Level 1
May 3, 2017
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I think there's some kind of service on the net that provides a phony handphone number so as to receive such OTP confirmation when requested. Important is that such a service must be able to accept the number of characters of your country's handphone. Anyone knows of such a service?

There seem to be many such services:

SMS Receive Free | Temporary SMS and Disposable Numbers

Throw-away Phone Numbers for Privacy

How To Get A Disposable Phone Number Or Text (SMS) Address - GreyCoder
 
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