We have all used free internet at an air port, hotel, library or at your favourite coffee shop. Many people think that they are safe because they have anti virus and a firewall program in place on their laptop. But a recently developed addon to Firefox side steps all the security on your computer if you are on a public network. The add-on is called Firesheep and it intercepts cookies that many website use (i.e. Facebook, Gmail, YahooMail etc). It does not give anyone your user id or password but the cookie that logs you onto your account. People can then view all your personal information that you have stored on these websites. With the advent of apps for cell phones, the same thing applies if you connect via WiFi to a public network on your cell phone.
There are several ways to prevent people from snooping your account.
1) Don’t use public Wifi. If you need to surf on the road, tether your cell phone (on the assumption that you have a data plan) and surf the net using your cell phone. It may cost a little more money but it will keep your personal information safe.
2) If you have to use a public network, download and install Mozilla Firefox. It is a very secure browser that enables users to customize it to meet their needs. Then install and add-on called Force TLS. This will secure many
If you are using Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome or Opera, there does not seem to be a way to block Firesheep. This is another reason why you should be using Firefox as your browser.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate contact us.