securing my computer for public connection

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by lin, Aug 11, 2007.

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  1. lin

    lin Registered Member

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    hi
    i use my notebook at cafes and a lot of public locations. what software should i install on the computer to make it secure so there is no monitoring of my activities from the cafe owners. i've thought about tor, but is that enough? should i get software such as ghostsurf?
    thanks

    i have xp home with zonealarm suit along with tor.
     
  2. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    'SnoopFree' might be what you're looking for. Also any HIPS could probably tell you if something odd is happening.
     
  3. lin

    lin Registered Member

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    I'm not much of an expert. I've install snoopfree. Now i have snoopfree, tor, and firefox suite (firewall, av, and antispyware). Is this enough for my privacy and computer security?

    I don't know anything about hips. I tried looking it up on wikipedia but it's hard to understand. Could you please explain?
     
  4. GlobalForce

    GlobalForce Regular Poster

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    Welcome Lin,

    Software's an afterthought at best. I'll rephrase this thinking the point was missed entirely. Software second to confirming any given, "legitimate," access point.
    jiwire.com/wi-fi-security-traveler-hotspot-1.htm

    Google for jiwire.com's "Complete Guide to Wi-Fi Security" which point's out the absolute basic's anyone looking to access the internet via public hotspot should be aware of. Armed with such information, you can better prepare for a targetted line of questioning.


    Steve
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2007
  5. lin

    lin Registered Member

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    thank you both for your help
     
  6. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

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    If you are using it on a public connection, then the first thing you need to do is prevent others using that same connection from accessing your computer. A firewall, such as ZoneAlarm will do this, so you are good in that area.

    After protecting yourself from remote access, you then have to think about all of the data you are sending on that public connection. Anyone could listen in on the connection and see the websites you are going to and the data you send back and forth. This is fine if you don't care about your privacy, but if a website is not using SSL (meaning that it encrypts all connections from your pc to the website), then anyone can see every little bit of data. Therefore, any website that is http:// and not https:// is not secure. Thus, I could steal your password to wilders since it is not encrypted. To solve this issue, tor will work, but then you have to worry about the people who are operating the nodes of the network.

    The best way to solve it is to use something like a ssh/vpn connection to your computer at home, then tunnel all of your data through that and essentially use your own internet connection, so everything is encrypted. That is what I do and once it is setup, it is easy. However, setup is fairly difficult and complex, but if you are interested in this idea I could help by giving you some links once I search for them, so just tell me if you want to know more.

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
  7. lin

    lin Registered Member

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    When you say the nodes for tor, are you referring to the anonymous servers that i'm passing through?
    please give me some links. i'd really appreciate it.
     
  8. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

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    Yes
    I haven't much time right now, so I am just posting the first ones I find. You will see that most these links are from forums located at http://www.dslreports.com/forums/all so if you have time go and search around there. I will post more tomorrow if I have time.

    http://www.dslreports.com/faq/vnc
    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r18632097-How-secure-is-UltraVNC-or-any-other-remote-option
    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r18559514-Use-VPN-or-remote-Desktopo
    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,17387962

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
  9. lin

    lin Registered Member

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    thanks, i'll read through these over night and let u know if i have any questions.
     
  10. lin

    lin Registered Member

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    i'm assuming that i won't have access to required ports for most of the software listed. Am i only left with webbased services like webex and logmein?
    i'm also considering pcanywhere. would pcanywhere work?
     
  11. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    All you need is firewall + possibly encryption.
    Mrk
     
  12. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

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    The beauty with being in control of your own server (like vpn or ssh), is that you can control what port it listens on. Therefore, you can change the port to 80 or 443 (ports used for normal internet browsing), then it will bypass any port restrictions set in place.

    Pcanywhere is $199, and I don't know if it allows you to tunnel all of your traffic through it (although you could operate the remote computer on your own which would work).

    Logmein is what a lot of people who don't feel like figuring out all of the vpn/ssh mumbo-jumbo use, and it would let you remotely access your pc for free. Also, any type of vnc would work (such as ultravnc).

    If you still feel like exploring the whole tunneling thing, ssh is the easiest, and I found a tutorial here that seems to cover how to get the whole thing setup.

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
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