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Web Stalkers
Chapter 9 - Self Protection on the Web


Another setting that can provide an additional level of protection that frequently gets overlooked is encryption.  There are many ways to implement encryption.  The most common use is to take regular communications such as email or chat sessions and change them into a coded message.  Without the appropriate encryption code, that coded message would appear to be gibberish to any other person or program.

Users should be aware that many times encryption is disabled in wireless networks by default.  This means that any communication between that computer and the wireless access point can be sniffed by anyone within range of the system.  Additionally, anyone that is close enough to the wireless system is capable of using its Internet connection.  Once hackers tap into that wireless network, they can commit a variety of cybercrimes.  This could land the computer owner in a heap of trouble when a crime is investigated and the evidence points to their system. 

Rewards of Wireless Communications

The benefits of wireless are seen regularly in advertisements that tout the benefits of mobility.  The ability to work using a laptop and wireless card wherever a computer is needed is the scenario that is promised.  The reality is that a person can still be more   productive in their office than they are in the airport waiting for a flight, if there is no wireless access at the airport. The places with wireless connections available are generally places where people congregate like coffee shops, bus or train terminals, and airports.  Some are paid services and some are free.

Corporations that enjoy name recognition often sponsor free services.  In some cases, a company provides free access in certain places to gain name recognition.  As an example of this, hotZona, LLC, a company in Arizona provides free wireless access to the Arizona State Legislature.  This coverage is free, even for visitors to the facility.  It is provided with Cox Communications and Intel. 

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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