Privacy For Shared Wi-Fi

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by secweb, Apr 7, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. secweb

    secweb Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Posts:
    2
    I've been lurking here for a few days reading (and reading!) and have to say you guys are great. Now I'd like to know if I put my research to proper use. o_O

    I will soon be moving to a place that will have 2 other tech-savvy roommates. All of us will share Wi-Fi. From various research around the web (and from this thread in particular: https://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/privacy-on-a-shared-home-network.269286/), it seems obvious that VPN is the best way to go. I just have a few follow-up questions.

    1. To confirm, VPN will protect me against my roommates, along with anyone else who may be in range of the Wi-Fi? Even if they are tech-savvy with various network monitoring utilities? And a VPN is safe to use for banking, making credit card payments, etc.?

    2. Is there anything else in addition to a VPN I should use? Extra info:
    • My laptop is password locked
    • I don't store passwords on my computer, on paper, or in the cloud
    • I always have file sharing turned off
    3. I get that my security will only be "as good as the VPN itself" (i.e. for all I know the VPN I choose may track me more than Google). I've scoured the internet and have narrowed it down to a handful of providers. What I'm looking for is a provider that is just plain solid in terms of security, speed, and customer support. Anyone have any real-world experience they can share? bolehvpn, mullvad, and ipvn seem to come recommended in various forums, but are often absent from the "popular" review sites. torguard was recommended on customer support and speeds, but not recommended due to logging more info than other services. private internet access seems to be top-rated provider according to, well...everyone. But is it too good/popular to be true? And finally, blackvpn was recommended on speed and security, but then it was also blacklisted for logging.
     
  2. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,594
    In your situation a very serious consideration should be the PHYSICAL aspect of your laptop when you are not actually present. I would buy a container with a good lock that positively will not allow access to the laptop without you knowing about it. Seriously, a very strong physically secure scenario where nothing "bad" can be placed on the machine in your absence.

    That is where I would start - my two cents.



    edit: My post was to support your security AFTER placing a solid VPN in play. College "kids" are notorious for physically messing with roommates computers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  3. Wroll

    Wroll Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Posts:
    549
    Location:
    Italy
    Technically, the bank/store should protect you from your "friends". You shouldn't need VPN to do your online transactions.
     
  4. secweb

    secweb Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2014
    Posts:
    2
    Excellent point, Palancar. To play devil's advocate, I'm just wondering what kind of lock would "positively not allow access without my knowing about it".
    • Laptop locks allow the laptop to remain in place physically, but don't prevent a user from opening it and turning it on
    • Most locks that secure bags (the small locks you usually see on luggage) are easy to pick; aside from that, there isn't much to prevent them from simply picking up the bag or briefcase
    Not saying this will happen, of course. And having said that, I'd like to believe in the general good of people. ;) But I'm also not stupid, and the general rule is, "If you can think of it, someone's done it." I'd just carry it with me everywhere if it weren't such a beast of a machine @ 6lbs. :rolleyes: In the meantime, off to research some physical security options.
     
  5. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,594

    No magic answer here. When I leave I store mine in a high end commercial gun safe. A little over the top for you, no?? My point is to use a physical container of any kind where IF its opened in your absence you will notice that it has been opened. i.e. - if the container is intact and hasn't been opened then you know the laptop inside hasn't had a key logger, or worse installed on it.
     
  6. Techwiz

    Techwiz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Posts:
    539
    Location:
    United States
    Not sure what your space requirements are but you could always hit up a Army surplus store. I ended up purchasing a trunk to store my laptop and other possessions in while I was living in the dorms. It had distinguishable features and was odd ball enough that if someone broke into it, they wouldn't be able to easily replace the container. Plus it could be locked. To prevent people from stealing it, I loaded it down with several lead dive weights along the bottom. I'm sure with a little innovation you could come up with something.
     
  7. Wroll

    Wroll Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Posts:
    549
    Location:
    Italy
    I think I would search for other people to stay with rather than lock my stuff in God knows what.
     
  8. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Posts:
    6,032
    Location:
    USA
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.