Home network, multiple computers

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by InfiniteLoopy, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. InfiniteLoopy macrumors 6502

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    Dec 14, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    I have a simple home network, where all are connected via WPA2.

    I was wondering about security between them on the same network. For example, if two users have Gmail accounts (for example), and one is logged in, could the other user access the account from a computer on the same network?
    I'm wondering this as once at work I accessed a site (not Gmail) and could see a co-worker's login details for that site and what they had done.

    I was wondering if the same thing could happen on a home network or if maybe the fact that Gmail uses HTTPS would prevent this. This makes me wonder about loging into sites that use only HTTP (like MR). Could another user on the same network get access to the account?
    This is purely a theoretical question as I don't fully understand how routers separate data between computers on networks.

    Can anyone explain?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #2
    To my knowledge, the only way you would have seen a co-workers login details on your computer is if your co-worker had logged in to that site on your computer. Things like login details are stored locally on the computer.
     
  3. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Hi,

    I am sure that we were on separate computers as we all have our own (thankfully). I should clarify that I didn't login to the site in question, I just visited it but it displayed notifications as if I had logged in. I'm wondering if it's because we were both on the site with the same IP address ... ?
     
  4. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #4
    As I said, login details are only saved locally on the computer. The only way his login details got onto your computer is if he logged into that site from your computer. Router/local network has nothing to do with that.

    That stuff is stored in ~/Library/Safari/ on Mac and in the AppData folder on Windows.

    btw, it is only the same external IP, the router assigns a seperate IP for each item on the network, to prevent conflicts.
     
  5. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Hi,

    I'm pretty sure that my work computer was not used but thanks anyway.

    So, regarding my example of a home network, another computer on the same network couldn't see login details regardless of whether connecting to a site was via HTTP or HTTPS?
     
  6. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

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  7. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #7
    That is correct. Right now I have 7 computers on my home network. None of them can see any of the others login details, regardless of what websites have been visited.
    (In fact, I kinda wish I COULD have the option for them to temporarily share login details, instead of having to manually enter them when I use a different computer)
     
  8. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Hi OK thanks.
    I'm trying to learn more about how networks work and the whole "different computers, unique external IP" thing confused me a little.

    I also guess that it's a good thing that data between computers remains private. Especially at this time of year with people on the same network shopping on the same sites ... Wouldn't want to spoil surprises. :p
     
  9. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #9
    Okay for securities sake I will point out one other thing. Information IS sent over wifi in data packets. IIRC with https these data packets are encrypted, while with http they are not. This is why any credible site that uses sensitive data uses https. However these data packets don't go between one computer and another on the same network. However, these data packets ARE accessible using "sniffing" software, commonly employed by hackers who want to steal your info. That is why in a home network you want to use WPA/WPA2 security, to prevent outside access.
     
  10. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    #10
    Just a note on this point, the biggest giveaway of surprise gifts is the shopping history on Amazon or Ebay. If you both use the same account, make sure to clear items from your viewing history so other people won't see that you looked at them. Not an issue if you don't use the same Amazon/Ebay account though.

    jW
     
  11. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Hi,
    Thanks for the additional info.
    What about if all computers are connected by WPA2, but on the same network (same router). Could one see packets from another?

    Good tip, thanks, but in my case, separate accounts are used. :p
     
  12. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I also had another question, in addition to the above one on packets:

    If for example, I log into an account and for some reason the site crashes, meaning that I can't logout again safely, is it OK for me to just clear my cookies and cache or should I attempt to login again later on in order to be able to logout properly?

    Basically, does not logging out properly make an online account more vulnerable?
     
  13. Dalton63841, Dec 18, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010

    Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #13
    Only if they were using a specialized software to do so. This is "black hat" hacker stuff.

    To my knowledge, no logging out properly should only present a problem if you walk away from your computer and someone comes up behind you, because they could potentially get right back onto the site without needing to log in.

    More often than not, as long as you aren't in a situation with alot of people who would go out of their way to get your info and have the computer knowledge to do it, you are fine. "Drive-by" hacking is more rare than you would be led to believe.
     
  14. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    OK thanks, so this is something only a very good hacker could do. I'm glad to see that consumer tech has the necessary security to avoid data breaches.
     

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