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Old 12-27-2010, 04:37 PM   #1
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Default Public School WiFi

What should I use to secure my computer while using an unsecured school network. I have messed with various free anti virus programs but I don't like programs that slow my computer down.

I guess I am asking what should I use in terms of free firewall/anti virus? Should I mess with VPN.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Public School WiFi

What exactly are you doing on the network that you would be worried about is the first question?
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Public School WiFi

i would say the things you need are

-Anti virus (Make sure its up to date)
-Firewall, Is the windows firewall on?? If not turn it on
-run Windows update and make sure all service packs and hotfixes are installed

not to sure about VPN, can someone else comment ?
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Public School WiFi

I'm not sure what I would be worried about I'm just checking email and web browsing. Some people I have talked won't even use public networks like that.

Is AVG a good free anti virus?
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Public School WiFi

Yea AVG is a great free one if you are just doing day to say stuff dont worry about it. Avoid doing banking transactions or ordering with a credit card and you will be fine..
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Public School WiFi

I've heard that AVG is good but I personally recommend Comodo... it's really a hands on program though as you get prompted for access to just about any program that wants to use system resources. However, it's good to know when something/someone is attempting to access something it/they shouldn't be.

The main concern though that you're referencing is packet sniffing. On a public network, you will encounter people that use programs like WireShark. They sniff out packets and can steal data right out of the air...literally. The use of passwords/etc on a public network is generally inadvisable. Anything to do with your personal Identification can always wait until you're on a secured network or physically plugged into a connection.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Public School WiFi

Great thanks for the help.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Public School WiFi

Even when you are physically plugged in, you can't be sure that you're not being... "monitored". There is a similar problem with hubs, and there are techniques like ARP Poisoning that might make you vulnerable.

VPN is definitely an option. Get Behind the Shield! Hotspot Shield by AnchorFree
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Public School WiFi

Looks pretty good I'll check it out. If I am using VPN does that make it safe to do online banking?
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Public School WiFi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Secure VPNs use cryptographic tunneling protocols to provide confidentiality by blocking intercepts and packet sniffing, allowing sender authentication to block identity spoofing, and provide message integrity by preventing message alteration.
I would assume from the information on Wikipedia that it would be a lot safer, but personally, I do online banking at home and only home, or on my Cell occasionally.
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