What are security issues for connecting to random wifi?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by jackc, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    If I connect to a random wireless network, is my data potentially unsafe? What precautions, if any, can I take?
  2. jsw
    Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Your data is no less safe than in a random wired network.

    Go to [apple menu]->System Preferences...->Sharing

    Go to the Services tab. Turn off everything you don't need.

    Go to the Firewall tab. Make sure your firewall is on.

    Go to the Internet tab. Make sure Internet Sharing is off.

    You're pretty safe now.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2004
    Most random open wireless networks you find are "open" are there to find because the owner doesn't know how or is too lazy to turn on and configure the security features that would prevent you from finding it in the first place. Odds are they won't even know (or in some places, won't care) that you're even there.

    There are, as always, exceptions to this. Might be someone with too much time on their hands just waiting for someone like you to find their open wireless network to do all kinds of bad things. Hey, I know a couple that do (really sad, no tan at all from lack of going outside) that kinda thing for kicks. But honestly, you're probably safe.

    Just in case though, follow the advice from jsw above and you should be ok. Unless of course, you have some top secret info that no one else should know and other people know you know it ;)
  4. thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    Thanks for the replies. So just out of curiosity, if you had an unprotected network, you can tell if someone else is using it? What info would you see?
  5. macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004

    yeah the DHCP shows its and if they have logging set on on it logs you mac address on there computer so they can check later to see if you been on it. from there they can just ban you mac address

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