how is wireless security on unsecured public network?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by joncnca, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. joncnca

    joncnca New Member

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    if i try to connect to a public wifi network (starbucks, william's cafe, etc.) they're usually unsecured. is it even safe to check my email on these public networks, because other people could be eavesdropping on my login information.

    anyone know anything about how well data is encrypted and whether the ipod touch addresses any security issues on unsecured public networks?

    do you all feel safe loggin into email on your touch?

    thanks!
  2. vahnx

    vahnx Banned

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    I feel 100% safe logging in over an unsecured access point because I personally could care less if someone gets into my email. What are the chances of actually getting hacked? I'd say slim-to-none.
  3. ryanangus

    ryanangus Active Member

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    I wouldn't worry about that. The worst they can actually do is find out what IP you're using to connect to the network and/or your MAC address.

    Otherwise the packets that are sent to/from your iPod are garbled bits of information, so no need to worry about phishers.
  4. joncnca

    joncnca New Member

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    thanks for your reply

    though i'm sure a lot of people are very careful about their email accounts. i'm not talking about the backup mule that you use to deflect spam, i mean the email account attached to paypal or other services you don't want other people getting a hold of.

    with the IP address, they can steal login info if you login to your email on the touch. so basically there's no security measures?
  5. xinzhitan14

    xinzhitan14 New Member

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    Should be safe to do your emailing or whatever you want on an unsecure network. To be on the safe side, never, ever do online banking there. Worst case scenario, there is someone viewing your internet traffic over wireless. But i doubt there would be people like that, they can get in a lot of trouble since its illegal to monitor wireless networks in public.

    An ip address is an ip address, they cant really do much with it if they're an average joe. If they are people who are using wireshark to capture all of your packets and monitoring what you're doing then you might be in trouble. But i doubt anyone with that kind of knowledge would be doing that out in the public at starbucks.
  6. Kith

    Kith New Member

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    I agree with the above posting.

    It's possible to capture copies of the packets you are sending, decrypt them, and string them together to get cleartext data. We used to do stuff like that on my school network when I was taking information security classes, reconstructing instant messaging and such.

    The odds of someone sitting around trying to sort out all the network traffic in your local public hotspot are slim, and that they would get your data specifically out of everyone utilizing that speific access point is an even smaller percentage. Nevermind the fact that you need a certain amount of technical knowledge to do this, even with the most user-friendly programs available.

    I'd say you are safe enough to do most anything you want.

    That being said, I personally wouldn't do any banking, or access any accounts that had access to banking information, credit card information or anything like that over a public hotspot. Murphy's law holds true for me more often then not, and it would be my dumb luck to be that one guy in ten thousand who's info gets snatched.

    Set up an email address that isn't linked to your banking, and you can forward non-banking emails to it, would be my recommendation.
  7. joncnca

    joncnca New Member

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    thanks guys for the well thought through responses.

    yes, i definitely wouldn't do online banking on a public hotspot. i want to avoid the, "it couldn't happen to me" mentality though, because that's the kind of thinking that gets people in trouble. i wanted to know if there was any built in security measure that would protect my data and that'll work even if i choose to be an idiot. but i guess the answer is 'no.'

    i think email's actually too private to disregard. i mean, i don't care if people can see my web browsing history, but everyone gets some pretty kimportant stuff emailed to them, including bills, account passwords for paypal, online banking, etc. and what if you lose access to your university account, and account you give to potential employers.

    i like the idea of setting up a separate email address, but isn't that pretty cumbersome too? is it even possible to forward all emails except specific ones, does that work with gmail?

    thanks!
  8. _JKK_

    _JKK_ Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Seein that iPhone OS is based off of Mac OS, I'm not worried. It would take a hell of a bad day to get unlucky enough to be hacked that way...
    ------------------double post merged------------------
    About the forwarding thing: Google has a really good guide for it, google how to forward all email gmail

    It works nicely, I know from experience.

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