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Old 08-30-2017, 01:41 AM   #1
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Linux safe to use via wifi?

You hear about all the risk, security and privacy issues when using wifi.

I'll be out of town for a few days on an older ( el cheapo ) laptop that has wifi.
I plan to use the wifi from the place I will be staying @.

I have a laptop that has Win 10, but I plan to try out my Linux Mint that I just downloaded ( its on a boottable USB . I don't intend to install a V.M @ this time )

I subscribe to NordVPN ( It's not yet installed on this laptop ) but I was wondering is Linux Mint safe and private to use right out of the box ( figuratively speaking ) protecting my privacy and data etc...

Or is there a VPN I will want to use.
Old 08-30-2017, 02:16 AM   #2
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Yes, it is safe out of the box, much, much more so than Vista10. However, the wi-fi is still a weak point and you are correct to plan to use a VPN. The reason being is that unencrypted wi-fi can be intercepted by anyone within range and even encrypted wi-fi does not help a lot because the level of encryption is quite poor and can be cracked in less than a few minutes by those who wish to.

Some additional things you can do when browsing are to use add-ons like Privacy Badger, NoScript, and maybe Self-Destructing Cookies. Those are available for Firefox and similar functionality might be found under different names for the better browsers.

Some people like ad blockers, but as far as security goes, NoScript (or an equivalent like ScriptBlock) amount to the same thing in regards to preventing malware and other attacks via ads. Safe ads, that is to say those without scripting, are let through and provide at least some income for the sites visited.

I usually leave out ad blockers and just use the three named above.
Old 08-30-2017, 02:17 AM   #3
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VPN if on public wifi. Some even insist on using it at home.
Old 08-30-2017, 10:44 AM   #4
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If you want to keep ANY of your data transmitted "private"-ish, then VPN. Otherwise don't log into bank accounts or any accounts while using public wifi. At least any that you care about. Beyond that it's an internet connection, connect and use it. You probably want to use "your" version of resolv.conf after connecting, otherwise internet away.
Old 08-30-2017, 02:46 PM   #5
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There is no reasonable security online at all. (my opinion only)

Linux is not immune to security problems. It may be more secure out of the box. (and it took folks kicking and screaming to do that)

A live cd should be quite safe if you only use it for general browsing.

A properly updated and configured system tends to be the most safe

Last edited by jefro; 08-30-2017 at 05:23 PM.
Old 08-30-2017, 03:13 PM   #6
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It is reasonable and prudent to use "public VPN" services, knowing of course that they will be able to intercept the communication (because they are brokering it ...). They enable "the communications that are bouncing through the air at the coffee shop" to be provably secure. Furthermore, they are usually set up so that everything is sent through the tunnel to the VPN service, so that nothing escapes into the coffee shop.

That being said, TLS (https://) communications are also cryptographically secure. Although people might know that you are communicating with this-or-that web site, they will not be able to intercept the content of the communication. The traffic will be encrypted before being tendered to the wireless network.

Considerations of what is and is not appropriate "WiFi security practices" are, in fact, generic to operating systems. They apply equally to Windows, OS/X, Linux, and your phone of whatever type.

Don't try to use this stuff to do anything illegal. Just exercise ordinary cryptographic caution to safeguard what is "nobody's business but yours."

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-30-2017 at 03:17 PM.


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