Safely Go Online Using a Hotspot?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mcmike100, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. mcmike100 macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2005
    My current method of Internet access requires that I connect to an unsecured wireless network. The router seems to have the default password changed at least, but I'm able to log on to the network without a password or anything.

    What exactly are the risks associated with this? In Sharing in System Preferences I turned on the firewall, blocked UDP, and turned on Stealth Mode.

    With all that, should I feel safe? Can people still easily intercept my data? And by intercept data, what exactly would that mean? People could just see what websites I'm looking at, or they could also steal my passwords and such?

    If the latter, what else can I do to protect myself?

  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Get your own wired connection?

    Seriously -- correct me if I am wrong but you're leeching on some unknown person's bandwidth over an unsecured broadcast signal, and you wonder if there's a risk? Like maybe they're using a sniffer to capture your traffic and log your form submissions? Unlikely but possible. Or maybe they're using a poisoned DNS to direct your PayPal and Amazon orders to a phishing site? Again, unlikely but possible.

    Every bit you transmit is going through their equipment, and you have no security at all.
  3. mcmike100 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2005
    I'm actually staying with a host family while studying abroad in Japan. It's their router, and I don't want to force them to add encryption or anything since I don't know them very well yet and my Japanese isn't good enough to explain it.

    Currently, this is the only way I can get online other than paying at an Internet cafe, so I would like to do everything I can to make the most of the situation.
  4. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    you have already done everything you can. what makes you think paying for access at a internet cafe would be any more secure? easy enough to clone a mac, fake a hotspot, and grab the same info.

    public/wireless access paid or not is a risk. period.
  5. mcmike100 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Thanks, I actually decided to try my best to explain it to my host family, and they let me turn on WEP.

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