What is the most secure way to access emails via Free Public WIFI?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by hajime, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. hajime macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello. I heard that when using free wifi services in the public, it is easy for the hackers or router owners to gain access to one's emails and private information. In the case of accessing the emails from yahoo/hotmail/gmail accounts, is there a secure way to do so? From the net, some people recommended using https instead of http. However, another person mentioned that "use HTTP to log you in, the encryption quickly disappears once you hit your inbox." Thanks.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Use GMail, which encrypts the session even after you log in by default. Otherwise you need to use a VPN.
     
  3. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #3
    If you want solid protection you need a paid VPN. Especially if you're doing any sensitive browsing in addition to email. The cost is not great, most are around $7 to $10 a month.

    There is at least one free VPN app that seems to get good reviews. You can use it with iPad, iPhone, Touch or a Mac.

    http://appshopper.com/utilities/cloak
     
  4. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #4
    Thanks for the info. Sounds like it is very important to have VPN installed. Why Mac OS does not has it built-in?
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #5
    All OS X and iOS devices are capable of connecting to VPNs, but you have to subscribe to a service first.
     
  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #6
    If you leave a Mac "ON" at your home you can create a VPN server on it to access from the outside as has been described. The capability is built-in to the MacOS, but only the Mac Server software has the GUI to set it up (can do it through terminal commands only with the OS).

    The easiest and most reliable way I've found is by using an application called "iVPN". Works great. In addition, you'll probably have to do some port forwarding on your router.
     
  7. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #7
    Since Snow Leopard you can open System Preferences->Network and click the + button and add a VPN. Then tell this VPN configuration to use the Cisco setup. To easy.
     
  8. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #8
    Thanks. I just created a VPN with Cisco IPSec. What should I enter as parameters for server address, account name and password? I suppose these are not the parameters for the servers in public wifi.
     
  9. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #9
    That's how MacOS will use the VPN, but you have to have a service subscription to get that info to have one to connect to. See the websites/apps described in the prior posts. Many companies provide one of these; might want to see if yours does.
     

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