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How safe is doing bank transactions on a WIFI hotspot ?

Discussion in 'Security and Anti-Virus Software' started by Laptopaddict, Sep 6, 2009.

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  1. Laptopaddict

    Laptopaddict Notebook Deity

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    Assuming you are connected directly to a legit spot and not indirectly via a hacker ...

    https:// connection is standard with all banks

    Is this less safe than your local Wifi connection at home ?
     
  2. kegobeer

    kegobeer 1 hr late but moving fast

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    The SSL layer will protect you, but there are always prying eyes looking at you, and there is a possibility that someone is capturing all of the data that's going from your computer to the router (yes, it might be farfetched, but I always think the worst in public places). Unless absolutely necessary, I would not do any secure banking/buying/etc in a public place.

    Here's a tutorial for safe surfing at hotspots:

    http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/tutorials/article.php/3825266

    At first glance, it looks like pretty good info.
     
  3. Darth Bane

    Darth Bane Dark Lord of the Sith

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  4. The Fire Snake

    The Fire Snake Notebook Virtuoso

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    My personal opinion but I would NEVER do banking transactions at a public Wifi spot. Even though you might feel that the hotspot is legit, you never know and you have no idea of their network topology or who is watching/sniffing packets etcs. I would only do banking transactions on your own personal network and would do it wired rather than wireless. Even WPA protection was just broken recently and very quickly and easily(though it took the researchers some work on how to do it initially).
     
  5. Vinyard

    Vinyard Notebook Evangelist

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    I don't know how safe it is but I would never take the risk because you could loose valuable information and you could end up losing thousands! Bank transaction should only be made from your own network,
     
  6. usapatriot

    usapatriot Recent Grad Trying to Find His Way

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    I do it at my University all the time, but it's not exactly a public network because you need to log-on using Cisco Clean Access Agent.
     
  7. Freeze™

    Freeze™ Newbie

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    It's probably not dangerous at all, but it's really unnecessary. I'm sure that you can find the time to complete transactions from your house or office - this way you won't have to run the risk of any third-party monitoring or computer hackers gaining your details. If you need to make a transaction from a public WiFi location, ensure that you've got good personal protection including a decent firewall (try Comodo if you don't already have one). Also, common sense would tell you that you should check out the WiFi spot prior to going online - make sure that there isn't an excessively large amount of people in the area. I know that you won't always be able to find everyone, but it's worth doing regardless.
     
  8. kegobeer

    kegobeer 1 hr late but moving fast

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    WPA protection is not SSL, and it was not broken easily. In fact, WPA was not broken, but instead a vulnerability was discovered with TKIP, and by using AES a network is not vulnerable to the Tews/Beck flaw. Anyone using WPA2/AES has no reason to worry.

    In a public hotspot, where there is quite possibly no security protection at all, SSL will encrypt and protect all secure website processing.
     
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