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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Unencrypted wifi

    I am staying at a hotel that has unencrypted wifi, no password is required. I don't plan on sending or accessing anything sensitive, and not going to check email.
    What is the level of risk using the hotel network? How much more risky is it than an encrypted wifi network?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Well, it's definitely not good practice but you should be OK provided firewall and anti-malware protection is on (and up-to-date) and you're sensible with your browsing.

    By that I mean don't access anything that needs you to input credentials, i.e. browsing eBay is fine but logging in would be a no-no.

    Have a look at this Why Using a Public Wi-Fi Network Can Be Dangerous, Even When Accessing Encrypted Websites article for more info.

    Hope this helps...

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    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    OK thanks for the link to the article.

    I'm using my phone's hotspot instead, even though it is relatively slow and eating up my data. I worry that a wannabe hacker staying at the hotel could try to access my files when it is an unsecured connection.
    Last edited by Vincenzo; 2016-10-01 at 18:48.

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincenzo
    I worry that a wannabe hacker staying at the hotel could try to access my files when it is an unsecured connection.
    If your files are stored within an NTFS filesystem and your new network connection to the hotel's wifi is set to 'Public' then I can't see how anyone could access your files ('cos 'file and print sharing' would be turned off).

    Hope this helps...

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Whenever we travel, I try to stay at a hotel which offers WIRED internet in the rooms, because I can connect via an ethernet cable and not worry about the unsecured wifi.

    I don't use unsecured wifi unless I have to. I think it's pretty lousy that hotels are skimping on wifi security. In my opinion, this is a bad thing.

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    You can spot hijack attempts by careful examination of your HTTPS connection and certificates.
    As always, internet security is up to you, which explains why so many people are hacked.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincenzo View Post
    I am staying at a hotel that has unencrypted wifi, no password is required. I don't plan on sending or accessing anything sensitive, and not going to check email.
    What is the level of risk using the hotel network? How much more risky is it than an encrypted wifi network?

    Thanks
    Using a VPN would be my suggestion.

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    bobprimak (2016-10-07),Vincenzo (2016-10-03)

  13. #8
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    When I'm in this situation and have no option but to access somewhere that needs me to input credentials then I use TeamViewer to remote back to my home (where TeamViewer Host service is running on my home PC whenever I'm away) and then input the credentials on a browser running on the home PC.

    On the rare occasions I've had to use a hotel's PC then I use a portable version of TeamViewer that I carry on a USB stick. I've used this method for years and never had a problem.

    Hope this helps...

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    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    OK, thanks to all for the suggestions. I am back home now.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Just one more thing. Many Antivirus Programs, even free ones like Avira, do offer their own VPN Services. The VPNs aren't free, but have a Free Trial period so you can judge for yourself whether they are right for you.
    -- Bob Primak --

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  18. #11
    5 Star Lounger Vincenzo's Avatar
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    Thanks, Bob, good to know.

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    Network security

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincenzo View Post
    I am staying at a hotel that has unencrypted wifi, no password is required. I don't plan on sending or accessing anything sensitive, and not going to check email.
    What is the level of risk using the hotel network? How much more risky is it than an encrypted wifi network?

    Thanks
    What *I* use when I'm traveling is a free utility from the U.S. Air Force Research Lab called "TENS" (Trusted End-Node Security). You can download a public version
    ISO from http://www.tens.af.mil.

    What TENS is is a hardened version of Linux that boots from CD/DVD/USB and resides in RAM, never accessing the host HD at all. Included in TENS Deluxe is LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird and several other Linux utils I rarely use. To save any data, you would need a separate USB flash drive for your saved data. Several of the Liveboot CD/DVD's of Linux flavors can be used the same way. I previously used to use Puppy Linux for this purpose.

    Cheers,
    Phil Heberer

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  21. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pheberer View Post
    What *I* use when I'm traveling is a free utility from the U.S. Air Force Research Lab called "TENS" (Trusted End-Node Security). You can download a public version ISO from http://www.tens.af.mil.
    That TENS sounds interesting, but when I clicked on the link I got: "Your connection is not secure..."

    TENS.JPG

  22. #14
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhinoceros View Post
    That TENS sounds interesting, but when I clicked on the link I got: "Your connection is not secure..."

    TENS.JPG
    Did you try with a different browser? Looks like FireFox didn't like it.

  23. #15
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    The connection is invalid because the DoD use self signed certificates - why would they pay a commercial organisation to authenticate them when the government has already done that by creating them.
    You can add the root certificate to your trusted store and all will be well - assuming you trust the DoD / US government.

    cheers, Paul

    Capture.PNG

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