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  1. #1
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    If I go to an unsecured hotspot, such as a coffee place or a hotel, I assume that using a VPN program would make me more secure.
    An example is the free, ad-supported "Hotspot Shield". I admit I don't understand this very well. But, specifically with Hotspot Shield,
    one is required to allow Java, at one's own location (127.0.0.1). Doesn't this compromise security? If so, when is the tradeoff worthwhile?
    I don't understand this well enough to even be sure my question is clear or coherent.
    [Note: I use Firefox with the NoScript addon, so that I can choose what scripts to allow, and I consider that an important security element.]
    Any comments?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerubal View Post
    If I go to an unsecured hotspot, such as a coffee place or a hotel, I assume that using a VPN program would make me more secure.
    A VPN will encrypt your session so that your use of unsecured services (such as http web sites and pop/smtp email) can't be sniffed over the air at the hotspot.

    Quote Originally Posted by yerubal View Post
    An example is the free, ad-supported "Hotspot Shield". I admit I don't understand this very well. But, specifically with Hotspot Shield,
    one is required to allow Java, at one's own location (127.0.0.1). Doesn't this compromise security?
    I haven't tried this product, but there are lot of programs built to run on Java; there's nothing inherently insecure about that, and the Java runtime should ask you to approve each program individually. I don't think you will have to approve Java for individual web sites, but again, I haven't tried it myself.

    Reviews:
    Hotspot Shield - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com
    Hotspot Shield | Internet Tools Download | PCWorld

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Jefferson. If I'm understanding right, any intruding Java program would have to be manually approved by me.
    I have to approve any Javascripts I want on whatever website I go to anyway (some websites/scripts are approved
    generally, and others I do each time I'm on the site, if needed.)
    I just realized, maybe I should have distinguished between Javascripts and Java? The thing that scared me was
    approving scripts at 127.0.0.1).

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerubal View Post
    If I'm understanding right, any intruding Java program would have to be manually approved by me.
    I have to approve any Javascripts I want on whatever website I go to anyway (some websites/scripts are approved
    generally, and others I do each time I'm on the site, if needed.)
    I'll have to distinguish between programs that require permission to run outside the browser, and applets that run purely inside the browser. The former must ask for permission, while the latter can run without asking permission. You might want to check the options in NoScript for how you handle those applets.

    Quote Originally Posted by yerubal View Post
    I just realized, maybe I should have distinguished between Javascripts and Java? The thing that scared me was
    approving scripts at 127.0.0.1).
    Yes, they are quite different. I'm not sure how the localhost address (127.0.0.1) is involved, but since this refers to your own computer, it's reasonably safe to allow, at least temporarily for a given session.

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