Wi Fi Hot spot security by GcuoblugaveTran


									                                          Wi-Fi Hotspot Security

You've set up your Boingo account, you're hanging out at the Home Turf sports bar in LAX and you figure
you'll do a little business or check your e-mail while sipping a Chardonnay. Well, that's the point of Wi-Fi
hotspots; being able to take care of a few things while in a relaxing atmosphere.
Don't, however, get so relaxed that you ignore security and give all your confidential information to
some unscrupulous hacker. Yeah, you see the guy. He's over in the corner wearing that fake nose and
glasses with the ridiculous Bozo the Clown cap. Yep, drinking a Blatz. Dead give away.

Sorry, they won't be that obvious, I doubt they ever drink Blatz and very seldom wear clown caps. When
you're thinking back, trying to remember who was around when your password was stolen, you
probably won't remember the woman in the tastefully tailored business suit, and if, by chance, you do,
she won't be the one you suspect. The best defense is to implement some simple security practices and
measures that will safeguard your business and personal information.
When you're considering Wi-Fi security in public places one of the first safeguards is anything but high
tech. Remember a few years ago when people were getting huge phone bills because someone was
watching as they keyed in pass codes? It's still happening to Wi-Fi network subscribers. Do what you can
to keep prying eyes from your keyboard and screen. You pay good money for your monthly subscription
and there's no reason to let anyone piggyback or steal your credit card number as you sign up for a daily
use fee at Starbucks.
Those of us who toil and travel are prime targets for those who may be of the persuasion to purloin. In
other words, it's quite possible to be targeted for laptop theft. Use a complex password to protect your
files, folders and laptop from access by those villains of concourse and lobby.
Yes, I know, mothers have been telling us to share for centuries but, at least while using a Wi-Fi hotspot,
make sure you disable file sharing. It might be great for the home and good at the office but it's disaster
in the making at your favorite coffee house.
If you're using a corporate laptop make sure you talk to your IT department before you install any
firewalls but if the laptop you're using is your own let me suggest downloading a copy of ZoneAlarm.
There are others of course but, for personal use, since ZoneAlarm is free and seems to test better than
the rest I can't see a reason to recommend another.
Most of the reasons for using a firewall should be self-evident but, to say the least, you'll want to be
made aware of any traffic coming or going and any unusual communication between applications.
Otherwise known as 'Rogue Hotspots' or the 'soft AP attack' this Wi-Fi version of the e-mail Phishing
scam is perpetrated by hackers who jam and mimic the signal and SSID of a legitimate hotspot. They
then serve up a sign-in page garnering usernames, passwords and, in some cases, credit card numbers. If
they go so far as to allow a connection to the Internet they're then in the position to intercept
unencrypted traffic as well as any files open to sharing (Don't Share!).

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