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Windows 7: Threats From Public Networks


27 Jul 2011   #1
GioChavchanidze

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 
Threats From Public Networks

Hi,

Can somebody tell me what are the threats from public networks and exactly in what aspects should I be careful?

Thanks in Advance!


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27 Jul 2011   #2
Magron

 

The threat is to your computer if you're accessing wifi in a hotel or other public place/network.
You need to have correct security settings and security software implemented or the person sitting right next to you could be looking at your hard drive.
Sometimes people will even bring in their own 'hot spot' or something and set up a faux 'public network'.
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27 Jul 2011   #3
brady

 

quick read: common issues and solutions to open networks.
Securing Wireless Network
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27 Jul 2011   #4
GioChavchanidze

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Thanks for the information.

As for the security, are Antivirus and Firewall Programs strong enough in this case to feel safe and protected?
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28 Jul 2011   #5
brady

 

it's all relative, to be honest. Safety is a state of mind; if you're not out there clicking random links or opening random emails from people, you'll be just fine.
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28 Jul 2011   #6
GioChavchanidze

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Thanks. Nevertheless, does the owner of a public network have a chance to see my passwords that are entered during the usage of that very network?
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28 Jul 2011   #7
Wicca

 
 

no they cannot
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29 Jul 2011   #8
GioChavchanidze

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
 
 

Even when surfing via mobile?
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31 Jul 2011   #9
n4aof

XP, Vista, Win7HomePremiumx64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GioChavchanidze View Post
As for the security, are Antivirus and Firewall Programs strong enough in this case to feel safe and protected?
That depends on how safe you need to feel and what you want to be protected.

If you are not doing anything dangerous (more later) and you are not worried about a stranger reading everything you send and receive online, and you are not worried about a stranger seeing everything on your hard drive, then a good quality, up-to-date, antivirus program and firewall are fine.

Things to NOT do over a public network:
1) Anything involving your credit cards or bank accounts unless sent to a secure (https) website;
2) Anything where you need to log in with a User ID and password unless sent to a secure (https) website;
3) Anything you would not want everyone to know you did.

Any time you are on a public network, act as if your screen was being shown on a ten-foot TV screen over your head.

A properly configured firewall can keep out most threats, but having a firewall configured to keep out really sophisticated threats makes your computer a pain to use so the default settings try to strike a balance between usability and security. That balance is generally pretty good unless you have some really critical data on your laptop - in which case, you ought to have the entire drive encrypted and you probably shouldn't be using a public network anyway.
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31 Jul 2011   #10
n4aof

XP, Vista, Win7HomePremiumx64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GioChavchanidze View Post
Thanks. Nevertheless, does the owner of a public network have a chance to see my passwords that are entered during the usage of that very network?
If you are connected to a secure (https) website, generally not -- if you are connected to a unsecure (http) website, definately yes.

Even the strongest encryption can be cracked if someone puts enough time and effort into cracking it, but ordinary 128-bit (or better) encryption is good enough unless you happen to be exchanging nuclear launch codes or the account numbers to your billion dollar swiss bank accounts.
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 Threats From Public Networks




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