Sea Trek site are the postings for our simple and inexpensive WiFi system that we have been using for years. Many of our cruising friends use WiFi, as we do, to get online, gather weather information, send and receive emails and do all of the other things people do through the Internet. For years, we have used available WiFi, whether from an open access point or from a marina, hotel or restaurant. If anyone has been on a boating site lately, the discussion has turned to Firesheep, a program designed to allow anyone with it on their computer to access your Facebook page while you are logged in and do anything you can do. There is one fellow out there, I won't mention his name, that has been on every boating discussion board on the net, doing his absolute best to scare the crap out of anyone that will listen. This fellow is making some claims that would lead the less educated in all things computer to believe that if a 12 year old has Firesheep on his computer, he can steal your life, take over your identity and clean out your bank account. He would have you believe that if you use any open WiFi, the sky will fall and life as you know it will end.
Since the Internet went public, people have been designing ways to get into your computer and grab your personal information. This is nothing new and will probably not change in our lifetime. Firesheep is not one of these programs, but they are out there and it does not matter whether you are using an open WiFi, a secure WiFi or a wired connection. There are ways and people capable of getting in, but they are usually not interested in you and I, especially if we don't make it really really easy for them. So I did say I would share what we do to try and secure our computer and our online activities.
Truecrypt that will encrypt your entire hard drive on your computer. The program is completely free and has had some good reviews and feedback. Once you computer drive is encrypted, no one can access any information without your password. That is important should your computer ever be stolen. It will not interfere with the operation of your computer in any way and is fairly easy to set up. This type of security is great for those of you that have really become paranoid with all of these doomsday reports lately.
We also use several software programs on our computers, many are free. For overall Internet protection, we have used Comodo Internet Security for a few years now. It is totally free and has been a good performer in protecting us online. We don't tend to visit potentially harmful sites, but if we get redirected, Comodo has kept us safe. They have received many excellent reviews and recommendations from other trusted sites. The Internet Security suite contains an anti-virus program and a firewall, both needed to protect your computer. We also use a couple of Malware programs. We have used Ad-Aware for a long time and they too have a free version. Many of these free versions also have paid version if you need added security. We also use Malwarebytes and Superantispyware to round out our Malware software. Another recommendation we have just begun using and like very much is IObits which is a more comprehensive program with several useful tools. We use the free version of all of these and they do root out lots of things we don't want on our computer.
We are working on an upgrade for our WiFi system, that is how committed we are. I will be posting soon about that and how it has been working out so far. I plan to post and update very soon. We have also added a Verizon Mifi to our repertoire to do all of our sensitive and online banking. These types of service providers are very difficult to hack and provide a better type of security with little to no effort on the part of the user. So stay in touch and let us know what you think about this subject.
How do you feel about all of this? Are you concerned, frightened, don't really care? What have you done to make yourself more secure online? Leave a comment and let us know.
See part 1 of our wifi set up.
See part 2 of our wifi set up.
See part 3 of our wifi set up.