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Thread: Wi-fi protection

  1. #1
    joao_pt Guest

    Default Wi-fi protection

    Hello everybody, I've a question that I would like to be answered. I'm going on hollidays, and as such I'll take my Notebook so that I can access the Internet in an Hotspot. What is messing my head is the following:
    - On the ZA I can see Intel wireless whatever, added to the Internet Zone. That should mean that as soon as I connect to the hotspot, I'll get an IP address and ZA will protect my computer against all threads coming from the internet, and reaching my computer by wi-fi;
    - However, I'm using ZA free and on the table (that allows me to select the version free or pro) the Wi-fi protection is only ticked on the Pro version.

    Question: Will I be protected by ZA when I connect to an hotspot? If yes, then what that wi-fi intrusion detection (or something like that) does exactly?

    Thanks for your reply.
    Jo o

    Operating System:Windows XP Home Edition
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm (Free)
    Software Version:6.1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Wi-fi protection

    Your biggest threat is from someone packet sniffing your traffic. Wi-fi hotspots communicate using unencrypted traffic and anyone with a Wi-Fi card can join in the fun and capture all your login details and passwords!

    If you need to send or receive stuff securely to or from work or friends from a public wi-fi hotspot, use a self encrypting messenger program called Skype which securely encrypts instant messages, voice, video and file transfer, and if you need to access confidential web sites like your bank accounts, make sure the connection uses secure sockets web browser connections - otherwise you could save us all the trouble and just post your account logon details right here now.

    To answer your question, ZA will provide you with the same level of protection as a wire connection but really, you have more pressing issues than that!

  3. #3
    joao_pt Guest

    Default Re: Wi-fi protection

    Thanks for the answer... I understand now that the problem isn't the incoming/outgoing traffic, is who can be listening to that...
    I think I'll just use the internet to check my e-mail, it's an https adress, so I guess that in that case I might not be so exposed, or it's the same?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Wi-fi protection

    That is a secure sockets connection so its encrypted - note this is in addition to any WEP encyption (described later). Also, when you log on to the hotspot, the login should also be encrypted so other people can't impersonate you by logging in as you, but routine traffic thereafter is sent as plain text.

    If you will be accessing a domestic wi-fi access point, you can give yourself some protection by ensuring a WEP key is set within the router. You will need to enter the same key into your wi-fi network adaptor settings and this will provide you with some rudimentary encryption. Keys can be 5 or 12 characters long so some kid with a packet sniffer could crack the encryption with his Gameboy in a few days but its better than nothing.

    The moral of the story is don't send anything over wi-fi that you would not like to see plastered over the front page of the New York Times tomorrow.

  5. #5
    joao_pt Guest

    Default Re: Wi-fi protection

    Thanks, looks like that on holidays I'll stick with my e-mail account only... The hotspot doesn't offers WEP encryption, when I connect o it using a PSP it gives a warning about me connecting to a non-protected wireless network, I never took is seriouly on the PSP but I'll take it more with my NB.
    BTW, I know I'm being too boring asking for this, but if I visit a forum and have the remember allways feature (a cookie is set on my computer), since the info on my log-in is on my NB will it be safe? Thanks...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Wi-fi protection

    It depends, but I'm not a cookie expert. Cookies usually retain things like user preferences etc, but login informtion is stored separately. If you use Firefox/Mozilla, login information is stored in the password manager and to access a site for which username and passwords are stored, you need to enter the master password.

    However, I know when logging into this forum that I don't need to enter my master password but the log in fields are automatically filled in so maybe I'm wrong.

  7. #7
    joao_pt Guest

    Default Re: Wi-fi protection

    Thanks for the help...

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