Thursday, January 27, 2005

Why you must be careful in public places using your PC.

It sounds somewhat silly, does it not, that people would have nothing better to do while in an airport or McDonalds or hotel lobby that to try and look at your PC to see what you are doing. But, apparently, that is not the case for many hotspot users. There are numerous reports, including one on InformationWeek (click here to read), where people are literally looking over people's shoulders (dubbed, shoulder surfing) looking for ID's, passwords, etc.

Then, there is another cast of characters out there using fairly cheap package sniffing devices to look at data which is not encrypted (most public wireless sessions are not) again looking for confidential data or id/passwords. Some of these programs can even reconstruct browser sessions so people can identify the sites you visited, etc.

So, it is probably very good advice to use appropriate care and judgment when using a hotspot to conduct business and surf the web.