Prorootect

Level 53
Verified
Stay safer using public Wi-Fi - thread here ..

Five tips to stay safer using Wi-Fi in public places : on welivesecurity.com : http://www.welivesecurity.com/2012/12/17/stay-safe-using-public-wi-fi-networks/

1. .. 'turn off Wi-Fi connectivity completely on your laptop, smartphone or tablet.' - yeah, this one is the best!

2. Don’t be tempted to join a wireless network that purports to be “public” or “free” in the list of available networks ..

3. Regardless of where you connect from, unless your device tells you that the Wi-Fi network you are on is encrypted, all the data you send and receive will be unencrypted, meaning your passwords, email messages, and other information will be visible to hackers.

4. .. Stick to simple web surfing if you do not have any extra protection. ..

5. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) ..
 

jamescv7

Level 85
Verified
Trusted
For a public wifi, make sure the area you stayed is aknown and trusted place.

And don't believe when you found a free wifi it doesn't mean full access, a possibility to enter password once browsing redirected.
 

McLovin

Level 73
Verified
Trusted
Malware Hunter
Before I connect to any wireless that I don't know I make sure it's safe to connect to. I.E asking if they antivirus protection and what not on their systems.
 

timnik

New Member
Thanks for the post.
A few questions though:

Is the wi-fi network safer or not if it is password protected?

Will I be well protected on a free public wi-fi if I use a VPN?
 

Nico@FMA

Level 27
timnik said:
Thanks for the post.
A few questions though:

Is the wi-fi network safer or not if it is password protected?

Will I be well protected on a free public wi-fi if I use a VPN?
Generally using a VPN will add significant to your security.
And if your WIFI is pass protected then this also adds to the security.

Open networks are known (At least most of them as there are some secure ones out there) to be bad in terms of security.
But fact is you do not have to worry much about unprotected WIFI networks, as they are generally made for fast access to anyone who needs it.
What you do need to worry about it your link from the laptop towards the end point and vice versa, as this is so called the weakest link and can be exploited and literally captured to read your packages and thus your data and passwords.
So if you use a encrypted channel you can avoid most of this also a solid software firewall + anti virus is well recommended because to be frankly if someone wants to read your stream then they usually can with a bit of effort but the trick is to keep them out of ur pc and thats where the FW and AV come in.
Now obviously there are loads of tools out there that can help you stay a bit more secure, but it only adds little if you do not have the right setup by default.

Cheers
 

jamescv7

Level 85
Verified
Trusted
Password protected to the highest level as possible (WPA2) since a difficult for hackers to cracked it.

WEP is a minor version and may cause problems but literally depends for the owner.
 

Nico@FMA

Level 27
jamescv7 said:
Password protected to the highest level as possible (WPA2) since a difficult for hackers to cracked it.

WEP is a minor version and may cause problems but literally depends for the owner.
WPA 2 can be cracked in a matter of minutes if not seconds, i personally have done it several times during a infosecurity.nl event which is one of the leading internet security events here in the Netherlands.

Your WPA 2 is just as save as your pc setup.

Because its kinda long to explain how to you can actually read how easy it is here: link and there are loads of tools out there where script kiddies just drive a car trough the neighborhoods and capturing your WPA 2 pass in order to turn your pc into a bot so they can hit bigger servers and networks.

And specially "free" ISP modems (The ones you get for free from ur ISP) they fall often victim to it as their WPA pass is just 5 up to 8 simple letters which can be cracked really fast by a average laptop.

To stop this people should always go into their router and use a serious pass with numbers symbols and so on and prefer to make the pass at least 15 digits long. This might sound ridiculous but its proven that a scriptkiddy needs no more then 10 minutes to crack a WPA2 (Below 10 digits based upon letters) but if you add symbols and such then it can take up to days and weeks. Still this does not stop a hacker because if they really want they will and can hack you sooner or later as the router 9 out of 10 times also has a service entrance which is very easy to open up.
But when it comes to your WPA2 you want to stop the usual neighborhood dictionary attacks by just making the WPA 2 key a hell of a lot more secure.

But what works even better is to white list your mac address in your router and blacklist all others, that way even if they have a key they will not gain access.
 

Prorootect

Level 53
Verified
How To: Block Access To Specific Websites from your Router using Tomato Firmware : on r3dux.org : http://r3dux.org/2009/12/how-to-block-access-to-specific-websites-from-your-router-using-tomato-firmware/

Tomato firmware is a free, downloadable firmware for the Linksys WRT series and some Buffalo and Asus routers which provides vastly improved functionality over the stock firmware. One of the nice things about Tomato, assuming you have a router which it’ll run on, is that it provides a very configurable method of selectively blocking access to the net in general, specific applications or protocols, or even specific websites. So if you have youngish kids who have (largely) unsupervised access to a computer with a net connection, you can keep them away from social networking sites like facebook, myspace, habbo etc. pretty easily. ..

In the comments we see some other solutions, coming forcibly ..

I like Beer Meister comment.
 
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