Friday, January 10, 2014

Being Secure in a Public World

Lock and key
Do you use public WiFi connections when you are at a restaurant, coffee shop, or airport? Public WiFi is great for staying connected, but presents a host of security problems. Most of us know this, but how can you keep yourself secure while using a public WiFi network?
The first thing is to ensure your email uses HTTPS. HTTPS is a secure system for
transmitting and receiving information across the Internet. Many email clients send through HTTPS to logon, but change to HTTP after you login. HTTP makes your information vulnerable for anyone on the same wireless network to access without a password. This allows others to steal your session cookie and log in to your webmail session without your password.  Gmail and many corporate email systems use HTTPS throughout the access period making them more secure.
Paid Hotspots give the illusion of security while not giving any real security at all. Though many of these sites use HTTPS in order to secure your credit card data, they switch over to an unsecured HTTP connection that does nothing to protect your data.
Being aware of these simple facts can help you stay much more secure while using a public network.
Written by Russell Smead