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Wireless Network Travel Tips

The following information is from a NetWork World article.

5 Wi-Fi Security Tips:

  1. Always use a personal firewall and up-to-date security software.
  2. Avoid all open access, ad hoc Wi-Fi networks.
  3. When using public Wi-Fi for business, use your corporate VPN for any line back to your company.
  4. Make sure all your traffic is individually encrypted.  Secure versions of your technical infrastructure are usually not the default.  It is something you'll need to configure.
  5. Cellular data networks provide slightly higher technical barrier than Wi-Fi for snooping, but still use your firewall and other precautions.

Top 10 'Hot Spot' (free, public bandwidth) safety Tips:

  1. Threat: E-mail eavesdroppers
    Countermeasure: Assume that other people are reading your mail.
  2. Threat: Clear text Web traffic
    Countermeasure: Look for the HTTPS padlock!
  3. Threat: Unencrypted business e-mail
    Countermeasure: Use a company-supplied VPN.
  4. Threat: Unauthorized access to your PC
    Countermeasure: Personal firewall.
  5. Threat: Hotspot-based attacks
    Countermeasure: Set firewall policies based on the end user's location.
  6. Threat: Viruses or Trojan attacks.
    Countermeasure: Up-to-date anti-virus software.
  7. Threat: Ad hoc attacks
    Countermeasure: Be wary of ad-hoc networking. Turn off ad-hoc networking.
  8. Threat: Wi-Fi snoops
    Countermeasure: Watch for shoulder surfers. Always be aware of who is watching you.
  9. Threat: Keeping the window of opportunity open for too long
    Countermeasure: Prepare messages offline.
  10. Threat: Hot spot hijackers
    Countermeasure: Only connect to legit access points.  Hot spot hijacking is when a fake access point is used to fool you into connecting to it. It will record all traffic from your system. This type of attack is mainly used in Internet cafes since access is open. Always try and make sure you connect to genuine access points.

How to Travel Safely with a Laptop:

  1. Use a laptop label service or laptop tracking service, or both.  Label tracking services affix a permanent label to laptops with a unique ID and toll-free number and URL.  When someone finds a lost laptop, the service arranges to return it to the owner and rewards the finder.  Tracking services have hidden software that 'phones home' whenever the laptop connects to a network to report its location.  When a laptop is reported stolen, the tracking service pinpoints its location and informs the owner, local police, or both.
  2. When using public transportation, always keep your laptop on your lap (or at least between your feet).
  3. Don't use expensive, eye-catching laptop bags.
  4. Use a laptop lock.
  5. Use full disk encryption.
  6. See Keeping Your Laptop Secure for more information.

Last updated March 16, 2009

Document author:
Last modified:
Oct 02, 2009