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Topic: SURVEY

72% thinks information about you are collected when using public surf zones.

Tomas Lannestedt, ProPrat, LANeye Publisher

Tomas Lannestedt


ProPrat

Publisher of LANeye

Software for Network Intrusion Detection and Intrusion Preventions.

In a web survey during Nov-08 by ProPrat (Publisher of LANeye), 72% said they believe information about us and what we do on the Internet are gathered by public surf zone owners in Cafe's, Bars, Airports... LANeye.com visitor and LANeye users where asked to answer YES or NO to the following question:


"Do you think information about You and what You do on the Internet are collected and stored when using a public surf zone?"

Web survey result: Do you think information about You and what You do on the Internet are collected and stored when using a public surf zone?

www.laneye.com visitors and registered LANeye users.


/Survey by ProPrat Dec 2008


Cafe owners gets a pretty good picture about you if monitoring what web sites you visit. Sitting on the same bar or cafe often, maybe every day, the owner can build statistics over your habits. It is easy to pinpoint your computer among the others since you using his network and therefore can be identified by your computers MAC-address.

The personal information you reveal when using your credit card to pay for your coffee is easy to link to your MAC-address. You only have to pay once with your credit card and the hot spot owner knows your name every time you uses his wireless network.

Unencrypted web connections can reveal even more. The Http calls used for most web surfing is in plain text. What you see on your screen can be read on the fly by any monitoring system without you notice anything. Other Internet communications like email POP, messaging and others could be monitored as well.


Encrypted web connections are not hidden. Even if a Https call (the once used to connect to your bank) are encrypted and could not easily be read on the fly, the monitoring system can always log to where you are surfing and at least identify your bank by name, knowing you have an account there.


The monitoring is not unique to public surf zones, your Internet provider can do the same thing when you are surfing from home. There is however a little difference. If you at home have a router that connects to the Internet and therefore have a small network in your home, it's not obvious to the Internet provider exactly what computer in your home that is surfing where.



What you can do to prevent personal information leakage.


- Use anonymous services if surfing the web when using a public surf zone.

- Connect using VPN to do file transfer and more advanced operation.

- Use a cell phone modem with cash-card-account and pay for the cash-card using cash.


Digital smoke screens - Some are saying that laying out digital smoke screens may mask your digital foot prints. That maybe true for a human to have trouble penetrating but there is enough computer power in a regular laptop computer today to see through those smoke screens.



We may not have to much secrets to hide, but maybe we don't want the Cafe owner to know where we go on the Internet.



Have comments or experience of your own?

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