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-   -   laptop wifi security in public library, etc., etc. (

SP7 07-08-2010 07:03 PM

laptop wifi security in public library, etc., etc.
I recently got a nice, lightly used IBM Thinkpad laptop. It has wireless capability for the Internet. Linux is the only OS in the laptop. At home, I don't have wireless-- I have a wired DSL connection for my laptop and for my IBM desktop (which also only has Linux as OS).

When I took the laptop to the public library, wireless is provided there for free and I had no trouble connecting to the system there. But since I'm new to wireless, what do I need to have installed to have a secure laptop when in the public library (or when I'm anywhere else that offers free wifi) using the wireless connection? [I use Firestarter as my firewall in the laptop and in the desktop.] Do I have to install some software to make sure my laptop is secured from spying and invasions when in the library or is the Firestarter enough? If Firestarter is not enough, what is that wifi security software by name?

[My OS is MEPIS 8.5, a Debian-based distro.]


alpha01 07-08-2010 07:53 PM

I wouldn't think your school would deploy direct attacks to all hosts that connect to their network, most likely be monitoring your traffic. The way that I could think of over coming this by using a proxy server.

If you're to concern about your privacy, I would simply not use their network at all.

Hangdog42 07-09-2010 07:44 AM

I agree with alpha, your biggest concern isn't' being attacked but rather someone sniffing the wireless traffic in the library for information like usernames and passwords. The short answer is don't do anything in the library that contains personal information unless you've got an encrypted connection to the site (https). For what it is worth, I frequently use various "public" wifi systems, but have a couple of rules. First, no banking. Period. No electronic purchases either. Second, email is checked only over an https or other encrypted connection (good old POP will happily transmit your username and password in the clear). Basic web-surfing is fine and shouldn't cause you any trouble.

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