Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In a public Wi-Fi environment, be wary of how you count on https

Here, from “The Insider Online”, is another summary on the question, “Are free public wi-fi networks safe?”  That includes “free wireless Internet” in many hotels (only a few offer Ethernet cable, which is safer; that’s what I had at a Holiday Inn in New York City in June, and it was great).

The link for the article is here.

The upshot is, no it isn’t, for entering anything with personal information or pw’s.  In a public wireless environment, even "https for logon only" is not safe enough; do personal stuff only if the entire site is https (with SSL).

Here’s a little article on how Firesheep works, and a Wiki article on it, too.

A safer option for travel is a personal MiFi "secure" hotspot, for example, the Verizon device shown here. 

I have used hotel WiFi (before I got the MiFi) without any incidents. However I find a MiFi card works very well on the road, and will operate on battery for some time in an airport lounge. 

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