Wifi at work

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by stephenjg_2001, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. stephenjg_2001

    stephenjg_2001 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Posts:
    18
    Hey all, so ive been wondering about something and cant get a straight answer out of my own research so im posting here hoping someone can answer a basic question. I work at a company that provides an open wifi for any and all employees. For years you just had to click accept to the T&Cs but now they are asking us to create a profile. The T&Cs didnt change, they basically say that its an as is network and not apart of the normal network so we cant call tech support if it goes down. However it also has a part about not using the network for an illegal, harassing, or offensive activities(ill get the actual wording tomorrow). Im wondering just a few things:

    1.Why after several years would they request we make a profile, to the best of my knowledge no one got fired for doing anything that would violate the T&Cs, its a small office and word travels fast.
    2. I have done enough research to know they could see where the traffic was going, for example what apps im using or sites i go to, is that true?

    The reason im posting is, i want to figure out how to make it so i use the wifi but hide the traffic. Ive heard a VPN would do that but im wondering to what degree. Now im not talking about using my phone at work to lookup how to build weapons etc. Im talking about hiding the sites i go to so that they cant see i am listening to the radio, playing a game or going to blank.com. during my break. I dont care if they see im using data, i just want to be able to search the web and not get fired under the "offensive" part just because they find adult dating sites or a war game to be offensive(just an example). Any help would be great, thanks in advance.
     
  2. Infected

    Infected Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Posts:
    665
    For me, hiding what you browse at work looks shady and suspicious. And if they find out that you are hiding your traffic, might be terms for termination.
     
  3. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,029
    True. But this is the public WiFi :rolleyes:
     
  4. Infected

    Infected Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Posts:
    665
    Public at work...:rolleyes:
     
  5. Umbra

    Umbra Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Posts:
    2,192
    Location:
    in a remote land :)
    use another employee profile :p
     
  6. PaleDark

    PaleDark Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    Posts:
    55
    Does VPN helps in this case?
     
  7. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,594
    A quality vpn is just what you need. More than just providing privacy, they protect you from any bad actors on the network. Open wifi is just like going to a coffee shop and connecting. I could easily sit at a cubicle in your workplace and quite quickly be monitoring everything you do on the network when you are using http in a browser. Where you go, how long you are there, etc....

    A quality VPN eliminates all that and more. As long as your system admin's are not blocking the vpn you would have unlimited use of the internet as far as where you go.

    PLEASE understand the obvious thing is that you are using your own device to connect to the wifi network. If you are using a work machine they can legally monitor anything they want in the usa anyway. NEVER use a work machine for anything you wouldn't open in front of the owner. NO exceptions!!
     
  8. stephenjg_2001

    stephenjg_2001 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Posts:
    18
    I will definitely be using my phone, im not that stupid but just wanted to protect myself from prying eyes, are there any free apps you recommend?
     
  9. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Posts:
    1,150
    Location:
    UK
    Lawyers.

    Actually, companies have my sympathy when it comes to this stuff, I know, I used to run one. Basically, a substantial part of a company's activity is in collecting tax on behalf of the government, and in following and enforcing various regulations including data protection that can be mutually contradictory. Catch 22.

    They have to be able to show that they are able to "police" their networks in case they are used for illicit or illegal purposes.

    Of course, as you surmise, VPN is the obvious step 1, just the same as it would be for public wifi.
     
  10. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Posts:
    1,594
    I did likewise "back in the day". Similar posting mentality too.... Unfortunate for you deBoetie!


    OP, I don't have much experience with free stuff where vpn's are related. I prefer to go with a quality vpn provider and pay what I consider a nominal annual fee. Most good ones are well under a 100 bucks if paid annually and they generally allow for a few devices to be connected at the same time.

    An area of concern for your application: many vpn users (employing ready made provider clients) are on home networks where LAN devices (those on the local network) are considered FRIENDLY or at least non-adversarial. That would be a critical flaw for you to configure on that basis with your employers network. I always design a firewall system so that even LAN devices are disallowed from participating with my tunnel connected devices or vice versa. I am only mentioning this in case you take the simple route and use a one click client for a good provider. Just make sure to augment the firewall to positively isolate your Android from any other devices once its connected to your employer's LAN. Its easy, but a major step in security that you don't want to miss. Being the "tin foil man" I even isolate on my home network just because I don't have full control of almost a dozen devices (Sat receivers, smart TV's, and such).
     
  11. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,029
    Yes, LAN isolation is important! If you don't want to deal with that yourself, some custom VPN clients have decent firewalls. IVPN has the best that I've seen so far. But I haven't tested in Android, just Windows and OSX.
     
  12. stephenjg_2001

    stephenjg_2001 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Posts:
    18
    This is the core of the agreement, please tell me what you think, if a vpn would cover me, if you can recommend one that would be great.


    You expressly agree to refrain from engaging in any illegal or objectionable conduct, including harassment, violation of intellectual property laws, or any other conduct that might be considered objectionable. You agree that *company name* may monitor your use as needed for performance, security, or other reasons.
     
  13. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Posts:
    6,029
    Well, they can monitor VPN traffic, for all the good that will do them ;)

    But I suspect that they won't like it for you to use a VPN. And it's their network.

    You could setup a VPN server on your home router, and connect to that from work. So your defense is that you're just accessing your own stuff, securely. And you could also run a VPN client at home, and route to the Internet through that. But that's a lot of work :)
     
  14. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    Posts:
    1,150
    Location:
    UK
    Presuming your use falls within the terms, I don't see how using a VPN violates it. After all, they couldn't explicitly monitor or ban https either, and I don't think they'd want to be doing the content inspection they might need to do on the internal network in any case.

    Probably they'll be quite happy about using VPN, since it absolves them of the liabilities they might otherwise have - as I see it, that's the whole point of the terms, it's CYA. And why not?
     
Loading...