GMail and Wireless Security

Do you think you are accessing your GMail securely in a public WiFi or wireless area? Think again.

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Just because you've read and followed the advice of using GMail with https instead of just plain http, don't be lulled into a false sense of security. You also have to be more alert when you're using a wireless network, whether you're in a coffee shop in a mall, or in your bathroom thanks to your newly-installed Linksys wireless router.

The fact is, other people using that same wireless connection can "sniff" the things you type on your screen. And that includes Paypal credentials, credit card details, and even login data such as your GMail username and password.

Sometimes, people don't even need to know your password. They can use what's known as GMail Sidejacking, which happens when you visit other web sites while you're still logged into GMail.

If you regularly use a wireless network, please consider your network security specially if you plan to use FTP to update websites (try using SFTP), check your email, or even update your blogs. If you wish, use WiFi to simply surf and do online research, and copy/paste what you've found into Notepad. Then go "wired" when you update your blogs or websites.

Or if all that is such a hassle, then set-up a wireless router in the middle of house that's sitting in a very large lot. That way, no one can simply park nearby and sniff your network. Hmmm... what do we do about neighbors and their tech savvy kids? :-)

Anyway, here's to more security in computing, my mobile internet friends. :-)

[ First posted on 08/26/2008 by Manuel Viloria ]

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