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Thread: Protected Using Insecure Internet Connections?

  1. #1
    mhl6493 Guest

    Default Protected Using Insecure Internet Connections?

    I travel a lot, and so I frequently have to connect my laptop to the internet through a hotel's very insecure internet connection. Needless to say, that's a big concern to me. I don't want people to be able to somehow steal my private info (passwords, credit card numbers, etc.). My question is, running ZoneAlarm Extreme security (using Forcefield and keeping the connection in the "internet" zone and not allowing it in the "trusted" zone), am I adequately protected? Or is there something else I need to be doing in addition to this?

    Thanks for helping give me some peace of mind...

  2. #2
    garywa Guest

    Default Re: Protected Using Insecure Internet Connections?

    I don't travel a lot with my laptop, but I have used it on hotel and airport networks. As long as you configure the "new network" to be in the internet zone and not the trusted zone, you should be fine... I have never had a problem.

    As the Help file explains: "Placing a network in the Internet Zone prevents you from sharing resources with other computers on that network and protects you from the security risks associated with resource sharing. Unknown networks and most wireless networks, even secured wireless networks, should go in the Internet Zone.

    The Network Configuration Wizard helps you make this decision by determining whether the detected LAN network is public or private. The Wireless Network Configuration Wizard helps you make this decision by determining whether the detected wireless network is secured or unsecured."

  3. #3
    mhl6493 Guest

    Default Re: Protected Using Insecure Internet Connections?

    Quote Originally Posted by garywa View Post
    I don't travel a lot with my laptop, but I have used it on hotel and airport networks. As long as you configure the "new network" to be in the internet zone and not the trusted zone, you should be fine... I have never had a problem.

    As the Help file explains: "Placing a network in the Internet Zone prevents you from sharing resources with other computers on that network and protects you from the security risks associated with resource sharing. Unknown networks and most wireless networks, even secured wireless networks, should go in the Internet Zone.

    The Network Configuration Wizard helps you make this decision by determining whether the detected LAN network is public or private. The Wireless Network Configuration Wizard helps you make this decision by determining whether the detected wireless network is secured or unsecured."
    Thanks. That's good to know!

  4. #4
    cyprinus Guest

    Question Re: Protected Using Insecure Internet Connections?

    Quote Originally Posted by garywa View Post
    I don't travel a lot with my laptop, but I have used it on hotel and airport networks. As long as you configure the "new network" to be in the internet zone and not the trusted zone, you should be fine [SNIP]
    This highlights a current concern of mine...

    Advice being given out to resolve the problem of previously detected network settings being lost and re-detected after each reboot seems to be to circumvent the above configuration and to automatically include new networks in the trusted zone.

    Whilst this may well resolve that problem, it doesn't highlight the dangers that it creates when using a laptop like the OP here. This suggests that if you suffer from the recurring network detected problem then you have to remember to toggle the setting that fixes it if you use your pc/laptop away from home.

    I appreciate that some might say that this is common sense but it would be very easy to forget that you've set this if you aren't travelling that regularly.

    Am I correct in the above thinking or am I missing something?

  5. #5
    critterjoe Guest

    Default Re: Protected Using Insecure Internet Connections?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyprinus View Post
    This highlights a current concern of mine...

    Advice being given out to resolve the problem of previously detected network settings being lost and re-detected after each reboot seems to be to circumvent the above configuration and to automatically include new networks in the trusted zone.

    Whilst this may well resolve that problem, it doesn't highlight the dangers that it creates when using a laptop like the OP here. This suggests that if you suffer from the recurring network detected problem then you have to remember to toggle the setting that fixes it if you use your pc/laptop away from home.

    I appreciate that some might say that this is common sense but it would be very easy to forget that you've set this if you aren't traveling that regularly.

    Am I correct in the above thinking or am I missing something?
    You are correct. Using the workaround to automatically place all new networks in the trusted zone when detected is fine if you never leave home and need trusted zone to share with your other computers or printer at home. However, it makes your laptop less secure if you forget to change it when you leave home and go to a public place. It could detect that public network as a new trusted network, potentially allowing sharing of your computer.

    That's why I have come to think that the "nag" screen to actively choose an internet zone or trusted zone at each logon may be a GOOD thing! It forces people to think about their location and to choose the safest zone for that situation at that time.

    Of course the safest config. is to automatically place all newly detected networks in the Internet Zone with the level on HIGH, which wouldn't help people at home who need Trusted Zone for their home network. But I agree that automatic selection of trusted zone is risky if using a laptop away from home and forgetting to change it. And that's why I have come to tolerate the nag screen; it gives me added confidence about which zone I am entering each logon.

    Now some might say that the last option on the Firewall>Main> Advanced Security tab settings might cover for some of this by defaulting unsecured/unprotected wireless networks to the Internet Zone. Whether that would always override a Trusted Zone setting is, at least to me, unclear. For instance, the hotel or coffee shop could could claim to have a secured network (which may be true), but with multiple people accessing it like an intranet, seems like they could still possible share if you had Trusted Zone selected; i.e., it could be secure from hotel outsiders, but not from hotel insiders. In other words, while ZA might protect one by default placement of a completely unsecure network in the Internet Zone, I'm not sure what it's "definition" of unsecure is. So I wouldn't go by that alone. I'd definitely leave that checkmark there, since it provides some protection against a completely unsecure network by defaulting to the Internet Zone. Removing it would be dangerous. But I think it's still safer for the nag screen to force one to choose the network especially in those public situations. And as paranoid as I am, I would also manually look and check to see what zone I had been placed in before proceeding by looking in the Firewall>Main>Zones tab and confirming.

    I don't claim to be an expert on all this, just a long time ZA user like others in this forum. If I've confused anyone, or if you need more definitive info, contact Tech Support. If you're using a paid version, you can chat with a tech free during business hours on weekdays.

    This subject is also discussed in the following thread:

    http://forums.zonealarm.com/showthread.php?t=74124
    Last edited by critterjoe; May 7th, 2010 at 04:21 AM.

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