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Old 08-11-2015, 10:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by fr1rd831 View Post
I work in Cyber security and I would never use anyone else's wireless to do Banking or anything that might expose my personal information. The vulnerabilities being found today and the speed at which attackers are developing new exploits just to take your info make it very risky. From man in the middle to vulnerabilities in the encryption used to secure our communications.

It's all about managing risk. Anything you can do to reduce that risk you should do.

I personally only use my cell phone to do banking or if I need to connect with my laptop I use the hotspot feature of my cell phone.

A few tips

Never click links in an e-mail that comes from web sites you have accounts with. Go to the web page directly from your own book marks. understand that no financial institution will ask you to e-mail personal info.

Be sure you have antivirus/spyware protection installed, it's worth the $$. There are free ones out there that are decent. Scan your computer at least weekly.

Use Chrome or Firefox instead of Internet Explorer for your browser. install Adblock and scrip blocking add-ons.

Check for updates at least weekly to ensure you have the latest patches.

Again if you can reduce risk you should.
What he/ she said !!!

I am in the IT field as well.

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Old 08-11-2015, 10:38 AM   #12
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I'm in the IT field and I don't use any free WiFi, there's too many hackers out there and no matter what people tell ya, everything can be hacked. Most of these CG owners, setup the wifi themselves, or hired some small IT shop that uses a few $20 wireless routers with little to no security on them.

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Old 08-12-2015, 11:13 PM   #13
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The $20 I pay monthly for our MiFi, I have peace of mind vs the wondering whether the CG WiFi is secure. Of course, I set up as many payments as possible before hitting the road.

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Old 08-13-2015, 11:41 AM   #14
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Firstly, use up-to-date virus and malware protection... if your device is compromised (e.g. keystroke loggers), you've lost the battle before it starts no matter how secure the connection.

All your connections to sites where you exchange private information should by secured by certificates and up-to-date encryption technologies. Start by verifying that the URL starts with 'HTTPS' and not 'HTTP' (this has been mentioned before).

However, not all HTTPS is the same. Many sites (even banks I deal with) do use security but are slow to keep up with the state-of-the-art.

An easy way to find out how good their tech is using the Chrome browser is to look at the lock icon just before the 'https' on the address line (Firefox has something similar - There are a number of different icons I have seen and you can click on the icon to get a report of the quality of the security. A 'lock' with a solid green body is best - this means the latest tech is in place and that your session is secure against all but an NSA-level attack. If the lock has a yellow triangle, it is still OK (would need significant effort to crack a session - a brute-force attack would probably take longer than the sensitivity lifetime of the data) but should be updated - let the site's admin know. If the lock has a red X and the 'https' is struck out with a red line, its garbage and should not be used for sensitive information.

If I have either the green or orange triangle I will go ahead and use the site over WiFi. It really doesn't matter to me how compromised the WiFi access point is because as long as your device is not compromised, the data packets (payload) are encrypted end-to-end and I don't care how many of those a hacker can grab. It doesn't matter that the headers can be read from a compromised access point - there's no sensitive information there (unless you consider your metadata super-secret too - in which case, what are you doing using a computer or a phone now?).

The thing about HTTPS security is that each time you access the site, a fresh session key is negotiated using slow-but-good public-key cryptography. That session key is then used for a fast-but-not-as-good encryption of the bulk data for that session only. The 'fast-but-not-as-good' encryption is generally accepted to be good enough because the duration of the session is going to be short enough that not enough data will be exchanged using it to facilitate a reasonable attack.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:52 AM   #15
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You will need to set a VPN connection.

All public connections should be treated with care.


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Old 08-13-2015, 07:18 PM   #16
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Don't even use a computer anymore only iPhone haven't had any of the problems that I constantly had with computer the new iPhone 6 plus is the best little computer I ever had my laptops are retired for ever
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:31 PM   #17
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If a campground or park has a more modern wifi system that takes you to a special web browser page to then login, it will be way more secure than one that gives everyone the same abc123 password that gets entered right on your device.

The webpage is usually branded to the site or the provider of the wifi service.
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by RedLdr1 View Post
There are so many variables in wifi security it is hard to give a definitive answer. And you really don't know what is in use from one location to another. Network access passwords at campgrounds and hotels almost never change. And I know folks who were hacked using public wifi....

Rather than risk being easily hacked I added a Samung Galaxy Tablet to my Verizon cellular account. I'll use the "free" wifi for things that don't matter. But e-mail and financial info will go over the cell phone network on the Samsung. I've already added ESET anti-virus on it to minimize threats. Plus the DW wanted a Tablet so I solved two issues at once...
x2- use your cell network for sensitive stuff unless you are 100% confident the wifi is safe

Do any of you use an external device to help pull in the wifi?


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Old 08-13-2015, 09:50 PM   #19
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Look at my tagline. I write a Computers and Technology Q&A column that publishes in various newspapers across the country. That should give me all the street cred I need for you to believe what I'll tell you.

By and large, you do NOT want to use public WiFi of ANY KIND to do work of a sensitive nature. That would include anything that requires an account number or password. Contrary to what you'll read here, https:// does NOT guarantee that data is being securely transmitted. Here are a couple of links to past issues of my column that address this issue: Issue #375: Sep 28–Oct 4, 2014 | Issue #272: October 7, 2012 |
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:36 AM   #20
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All wifi signals are easily intercepted if someone is determined. The only safer way to access sensitive sites is use encryption. Most banks use encryption so check with your institution.

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