Basic Security when using public hotspots?

When using public hotspots:

  1. Is it real simple for someone to be able to read emails that I send and receive?

  1. Is it real simple for someone to be able to read text I type into forms on web pages?

  2. How likely is it for someone to gain access (go through files or delete them) to my computer while I am connected to the wireless connection?

  1. Does surfing wirelessly with a mac computer make it more difficult for someone to do any of these things?


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Loading thread data ... hath wroth:

Yes. If the hot spot wireless is not encrypted, there are a variety of capture and decoder tools that can be used to re-assemble email messages. Look into TLS security on your email client for security.

Yes, if the form is un-encrypted HTML. If the form is encrypted with SSL (https), then it's far more difficult.

Unlikely. Most wireless hot spots have "AP isolation" or "client isolation", which prevents one client from connecting or attacking another wireless client. There's no guarantee that this feature is enabled.

Laptops also have the ability to connect directly to another laptop using ad-hoc networking instead of going through the hot spot access point in infrastructure mode. It is possible for an attacker to directly connect to your laptop via ad-hoc mode.

Generally yes. Apple seems to take security more seriously than Microsoft. However, that doesn't prevent users from setting up their laptops in an insecure way. Open shares are open shares whether on a Mac or PC.

Here's a tolerable article on the topic:

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