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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    The Dangers of Public WiFi
    Free wifi -- it's everywhere, from the coffee shop to the airport. It's convenient, but you may be putting your personal information at risk.
    Experts warn that free Internet connections could lead to identity theft, "Early Show" Consumer Correspondent Susan Koeppen points out.
    She notes that nine million people fall victim to identity theft every year. And now, with thousands of wifi hot spots across the country, thieves are finding a new and easy way to steal your information.

    Watch the video


    How do you keep your data and passwords safe when traveling?
    What kind of software/services do you use to keep hackers away?
    Anyone use a VPN?

  2. #2
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Interesting video. Looks like the take away is to always be sure you are using a legit hot-spot if you are transmitting secure info. I'm guessing the video would be a good inspiration for the few crooks that may not have thought of the scam. They made it look easy.

    The techno lady in the piece offered VPN as a solution, but as far as I can see that would only work if you where trying to access something on a network that had VPN established. A bank is not going to have that available to it's customers, but maybe for certain employees.


  3. #3
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    So if I am staying at a hotel with free internet, how can I safely check my email? And I am assuming that using a credit card at such a connection would be really risky.
    Last edited by Cheesehead; August 5th, 2010 at 01:41 PM.
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  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    The scary part was that they are able to see what you were typing on your keyboard or iphone.

    With summer travels in full swing, lots of us will be staying at hotels, going through airports, etc. All they have to do is set up camp in a hotel or airport...So far, I have avoided checking on any impt accounts in such places when I travel. I just check email or browse.

    edit: I check email through 3G so I assume I am not logging into their wifi?
    Last edited by ladidah; August 5th, 2010 at 01:44 PM. Reason: added info

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    I am too paranoid to enter anything on our Droid or public wi-fi. Even logging on to my PC back at the office is too risky.

    That reminds me to get identity theft insurance. Tara gets it free at work, but I need it considering all that I do online.
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  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager ParadigmWilliam's Avatar
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    I like to use form fillers are have the passwords pre-filled in. That way if there is any keyboard sniffer on the network it won't detect any keys. But for my bank and financial security sites, I just get a security code token thing that resets a password every few seconds. The only downside to that is that you have to have it on you. But trust me, its worth it. For email, I only allow password resets to be sent to my phone and I get alert of every time this happens (gmail does this).
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParadigmWilliam View Post
    I like to use form fillers are have the passwords pre-filled in. That way if there is any keyboard sniffer on the network it won't detect any keys. But for my bank and financial security sites, I just get a security code token thing that resets a password every few seconds. The only downside to that is that you have to have it on you. But trust me, its worth it. For email, I only allow password resets to be sent to my phone and I get alert of every time this happens (gmail does this).
    If you don't mind, can you tell us what kind of service you use for that security token thingy?

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager ParadigmWilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladidah View Post
    If you don't mind, can you tell us what kind of service you use for that security token thingy?
    Just ask you local bank, or whatever company you use to log into their site with. Even Paypal has one now. Most have it but don't really publicize it to people.
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  9. #9
    Full Member lintlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParadigmWilliam View Post
    I like to use form fillers are have the passwords pre-filled in. That way if there is any keyboard sniffer on the network it won't detect any keys.
    I was wondering if this would work. I have a lot of my passwords stored (a security risk in and of itself, but another topic...), can they be made into plain text when I just choose my user name from the dropdown list and press enter twice (because the password gets pulled up with the user name)? In this case all the hacker sees is that I pressed enter twice, or am I mistaken?

    Maybe there are some good things to the German / European citizen registration program. Here you have to register your place of residence with the city you live in, and you have to provide a de-registration form from your last place of residence. To get these forms you also have to have a passport / identity card. Without the registration forms you can't open a bank account or get a loan, and any online bank registrations have to go through "post-ident", as the German post, any bank or a notary can put their stamp on your bank account papers certifying that it is really you.

    I always think this is a huge pain the butt...but then again, I've never heard of identity theft here, either.

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