Public Wifi - do I need protection?

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Public Wifi - do I need protection?

Postby Trader » Wed Jan 04, 2023 11:38 am

I'll be overseas around the middle of this year and one option is to just pay $5 per day for data roaming.
The other is to jump onto public wifi and keep the data turned off.

The places I'm going will generally have a good coverage of wifi, so I'm not concerned about being out of range. And generally it's not an issue if I'm out of range anyway.

So my question becomes around how safe is it to use public wifi (mainly hotels) on my iphone?

Websites will tell you to get antivirus and use a VPN, but those websites are trying to sell you antivirus and VPNs, so its a little hard to tell if I actually need it or not.

I've used a VPN in the past (10+ years ago) when spoofing my location to get around the inplay betting laws in Australia. And a lot of the VPN stuff seems to be for getting around location restrictions on youtube, netflix, etc.

Do I really need it if I'm going to just be checking facebook, sending the odd email, and potentially using my internet banking app?

Do I need both (VPN and antivirus), is one better than the other, can I get away with neither?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Public Wifi - do I need protection?

Postby beef » Wed Jan 04, 2023 11:44 am

Just got back from America a couple days ago.
Used free WiFi the whole time and had no issues, a few places where couldn't get any but 95% could get something and used uber Facebook and other pages with no issue.
My phone is a bit older than my other family members so they were able to connect to more options at times.
I'm probably one of the least tech savvy people in the world but was all pretty simple and don't think I got any viruses and phone seems to be running same as normal since being back.
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Re: Public Wifi - do I need protection?

Postby Jimmy_041 » Wed Jan 04, 2023 12:05 pm

I'm in the same boat Trader
I dont use VPN here unless for the same reasons as you

Cyber crime has developed since I last toured so I probably will use a VPN this trip

I am going to ask my IT provider what they think and what to use so I will let you know
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Re: Public Wifi - do I need protection?

Postby Trader » Thu Jan 05, 2023 3:01 pm

beef wrote:Just got back from America a couple days ago.
Used free WiFi the whole time and had no issues, a few places where couldn't get any but 95% could get something and used uber Facebook and other pages with no issue.
My phone is a bit older than my other family members so they were able to connect to more options at times.
I'm probably one of the least tech savvy people in the world but was all pretty simple and don't think I got any viruses and phone seems to be running same as normal since being back.


Thanks.
Lines up with my thinking.

But equally once your comporomised its a massive problem to resolve.
Hopefully a few more tech heads can throw in their two cents.
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Re: Public Wifi - do I need protection?

Postby Jimmy_041 » Tue Jan 10, 2023 12:45 pm

@Trader

Morning Jimmy_041,

Honestly VPN's are really only used to bypass regional blocks e.g. China or accessing country specific content.

I know they are sold as adding more security when browsing however there is no net advantage to using one as instead of the internet provider storing the metadata, the VPN carrier does.

I only use one when testing access controls or running external traffic tests, or if I need to access say HBO America for a specific documentary.
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Re: Public Wifi - do I need protection?

Postby Trader » Tue Jan 10, 2023 12:54 pm

Perfect, thanks.
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