Travelling Netbook - protection against unauthorised access

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What's the risk of someone hacking into my netbook or monitoring /
capturing traffic whilst say I'm in Starbucks or McDonalds? These
offer free wifi connections using The Cloud or whatever. These
connections are unsecured by WPA or WEP etc. Also how can I protect
the netbook from unauthorised access whilst online? Thank you - CJB.

Re: Travelling Netbook - protection against unauthorised access

CJB typed on Tue, 23 Mar 2010 08:19:11 -0700 (PDT):
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Well to protect your laptop from somebody looking in, use a firewall
designed for open networks, most isn't. Although you could configure
most normal firewalls to work blocking all unauthorized access too.

As for somebody reading your packets on an open access... well you are
kind of stuck there. If you use a secured website for what you want to
do, that should be pretty safe. The other choice is to use VPN. I think
that is what it is called. That encrypts everything even on an open
network. Don't use it so I don't know much about it really.

And while experts tells you that WEP and WPA are secure, well a seasoned
hacker knows differently. As a good one can descramble your packets in
minutes or less.

Asus EEE PC 702G8 ~ 2GB RAM ~ 16GB-SDHC
Windows XP SP2

Re: Travelling Netbook - protection against unauthorised access

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Thank you for that info.. I saw the BBC Hustle Programme where someone
hi-jacked the packets and stole someones emaol account and password.
When the owner logged off and left, the hacker remained logged in and
could access the email account as though it was his/hers.

I guess the rule is never to enter passwords to connect to email,
online banking, even Facebook etc., when travelling and using
unsecured wifi networks, e.g. The Cloud in MacDonalds.

Chris B..

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