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online banking

by fdsfsdfds765765 / October 14, 2009 9:12 PM PDT

Are there measures that can be taken to ensure that online banking information is protected while performing a transaction on a public network computer.

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As long as it's a wired connection . . .
by Coryphaeus / October 14, 2009 10:06 PM PDT
In reply to: online banking

and the site is secure (https), it's as safe as you can make it. But, as with any public computer, you never know what's on the other end of the connection. As in the router.

If you're talking about wireless, don't even think about it.

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Not over WIFI. Research EVIL TWIN.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 14, 2009 10:17 PM PDT
In reply to: online banking
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Yeah
by Jimmy Greystone / October 15, 2009 1:35 AM PDT
In reply to: online banking

Yeah, don't do it. There are just too many unknowns with a public computer. Unless you have absolutely no other choice, I would avoid this like the plague. Much better to just go to a local branch of your bank, if available, and do your banking there.

With a public computer you just don't know if the person who set it up took reasonable precautions to keep it safe. Is there some kind of automatic reimaging process set up to ward against viruses and malware? If so, when does it kick in? Has the computer been reimaged since the last person used it? If not, and the browser being used is Internet Explorer, do you know for certain there isn't some kind of password sniffing malware on it? Do you know for certain that the admin of this system didn't install some kind of keylogger program as part of the "standard" image? Do you know for certain that the admin of the system isn't monitoring traffic in some other way? If it's a wireless connection, there's all manner of ways to tap into that.

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. A security expert should be able to come up with a couple dozen more easily.

Unless you have no other choice, don't do this.

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Re:
by fdjkslf98475 / October 15, 2009 2:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Yeah

If I open a document on this computer from an offline storage media how can I make sure that the information contained in the document is not leaked to the web assuming that this computer is running a firewall and is well protected against malware.

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Given today's threats.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 15, 2009 2:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Re:

You're never quite sure. There have been discussions about this and the brutal truth is if such info must remain a secret you wouldn't put that on a computer document.

Hope that's clear enough.
Bob

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A fine example.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 15, 2009 2:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Given today's threats.
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Same as before
by Jimmy Greystone / October 15, 2009 2:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Re:

Same as before, you can't. Too many unknowns exist to offer even reasonable assurances. If the information is sensitive enough that you're even asking these questions, the safest thing you can do is just go on the assumption that you're better off finding some kind of alternate means.

Public computers are just that: Public. Anything you wouldn't necessarily want to be made public, don't ever expose to a public computer. In the real world, you can't just plug in some special flash drive and instantly secure the computer like in movies and TV shows. You should operate under the assumption that anything you open on/view/type into a public computer could find its way onto the Internet for any and all to see, and act accordingly.

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Security in public network
by Slackenerny / October 16, 2009 3:58 PM PDT
In reply to: online banking

I know I'm a little late to jump onto this thread but let me say not all public computer netowrk is unsecured. The key thing is that you need to know what to look for when doing a secured transaction. As a rule of thumb, never use a computer that is in the public domain for secured transaction, as you can never tell whether it's been rigged/infected. However the same cannot be said regarding public network. Of course you shouldn't really pay your bills online on a network offered in places like Starbucks, but if we are talking about a public network that is offered in say an university, the risk involved is just not the same. It all boils down to who and how much you trust, so in the case of using an university network you are putting your trust on the IT admin guys working in the uni to do their jobs right - updating their servers regularly, locking switches/servers/network equipments securely and have patrols regularly to ensure they aren't rigged etc, and trusting that there aren't some double agents inside the IT dept working for a malicious syndicate.

As a rule always use https, and try to use some browsers other than IE if possible.

For Wifi, again, it comes down to trust. If, say, you trust that the IT staff working in Harvard University are decent people and you trust Harvard's network (I know it sounds crazy, but if you want to get things done in this world you have to trust someone at the end of the day - I mean, would you trust the cops? Would you trust the traffic lights are working properly? If you're not trusting anyone just because of a simplistic reason that you want to keep safe then you can't get anything done), then the onus would be on yourself to ensure that you're indeed connecting to Harvard's netowrk instead of logging onto some networks that claim themselves to be Harvard's. The key in doing this would be to teach yourself about understanding digital certificates. If say, Harvard's Wifi access points are certified (I'm not sure if they are, because to have a CA certifying access points regularly is quite a financial undertaking so not every company, even reputable ones, does that), then you need to configure Windows to only connect to those that are certified. If you can't find an wireless access point that is in anyway certified, you need to always bear in mind there's a certain risk that the access points broadcasting in your area are impostors.

It's a sad thing that in many of the so-called developed nations today many people don't understand the basic workings of digital certificate, when the exact things that you need to look for are actually very easy to find.

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What can you do when you are abroad and you need access to
by Issaland / October 20, 2009 4:06 AM PDT
In reply to: online banking

your bank online?

I was on summer holiday in Turkey. During this two weeks I had to use public computer in local internet cafe. Before I logged in to my bank, I downloaded the newest version of Google Chrome and Ccleaner. First I cleaned computer with Ccleaner, than I opened Chrome with Private Browsing and logged in to my bank. After that I cleaned again computer with Ccleaner.

Probably, the smartest way is to take your own laptop with you, but you will have to connect with hotel WiFi anyway, and it's still not so secure either.

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