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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Unsecured network use

    Iím sure this question has been raised and answered many time, so please forgive me if this is a re-run.

    Iím planning to occasionally use some hotel networks in the U.S. I realize these networks are insecure, but as far as I can tell this is a safe activity if using https sites. My bank, webmail, and other sites I may use, all have https.

    My reading seems to suggest that this will keep me safe. Do you have any thoughts on this? Not too geeky, please. I am a simple man!
    I know I could use a VPN, but this seems overkill for the very limited amount of internet time I plan to use. I basically want to check my bank account and read webmail, which as I said use https.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    https connections are secure between your computer and the web site. As long as the sites you use are only https your traffic is safe from prying eyes.
    I would also ensure you have at least Windows firewall turned on and a decent AV - MS Security Essentials is free and seems to be pretty good.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    Many thanks, Paul. You've put my mind at rest. I'm using MSE and Malwarebytes. I'll keep in mind to make sure the Windows Firewall is on.

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger
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    Using VPN isn't difficult, I use VPNReactor, which provides free 30 minute slots and is really easy to set up.

  5. #5
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I would think that the internet access in most name-brand hotels is more secure than a public wifi, because you have to log on using the info that they give you when you check in. Even with that in mind, I would still want to have as secure of a connection as I can when I am accessing my bank account. Therefore, I would strongly consider using a VPN service when you are going to log onto your bank account.

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    If, and this is a big if, the motel/hotel uses a password for accessing their WiFi, you are much more secure than an open network because at a minimum your WiFi connection is encrypted and very hard to break into. The trouble is that in my experience the majority of hotels/motels have unsecured wireless, not unlike going to a Starbucks or Panera Bread, where someone with the freely available FireSheep plugin could easily steal your passwords.

    One additional thing to watch for when using https sites is one you are logged in, make sure the https is still showing up in the address bar. Some sites, although usually not banks, use https for the login page but drop it once you are logged in. Its a wasted effort because your password is part of the packets that get sent back and forth between your machine and the site. So unless the https "stays with you" through out your use of the site, its not secure.
    Chuck

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