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Don't expect security in Internet cafes

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Would you trust an Internet cafe with your e-mail? How do you safely check your e-mail when you're out of town? What measures has your organization taken to secure remote access to e-mail? Share your comments about securing remote access to e-mail, as discussed in the Sept. 15 Internet Security Focus e-newsletter.

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Putty or Twingo

by napoleon In reply to Don't expect security in ...

My mail server is IMAP and FreeBSD based. When I travel
(and I do often), I will first try to use putty to have an SSH
client. If that fails, I use Twingo (
combined with Mail2Web is secure mode
( With this second solution, I will have
a secure environment in which I can run a generic webmail
client. I am sure not to leave any trace behind once I have
closed my email session.

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I don't trust cafes either

by gaurav In reply to Don't expect security in ...

I normally carry a laptop along, and use it work. Also, IMAP over SSL provides secure access to my mail.

If you absolutely have to use Outlook Express on a public computer, delete your account, compact folders, and delete related files.

For sensitive data, a cellphone access would be preferred rather than going to a cafe.

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Change password before and clear the cache

by dick_kp In reply to Don't expect security in ...

Somehow, we can't escape from the Internet cafes due to high cost of roaming (you cannot use comapny resource for personal trip, right). In this case, I usually first change my hotmail or yahoo mail password before my trip and change it back after I return home.

Another point is make sure you have cleaned the browser cache and URL location bar before you leave.

It can't solve every problem but should avoid some of them.


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by BeingMe In reply to Don't expect security in ...

As for myself, I follow the thought that if you dont ask and they dont tell....
Putty will fit comfortably on a floppy, and it is part of my travelling packout. Also included is a CDROM with all of the putty tools, and a couple of other useful tools(i.e. cmd line av, history wiping scripts, etc...).
I have yet to encounter a Cafe that will prevent me from running something from cd or floppy (doesn't mean they dont exist though). I would like to try out the buiness card cdrom idea for this, just havent been able to buy any yet.
Frankly the world generally has poor security, bring your own protection.

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Make sure its legal

by adutton In reply to Don't expect security in ...

Use of PuTTY is illegal in countries where encryption is outlawed. Do your research online before you head out on your trip to make sure your tool will not land you in trouble.

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Keystroke logger

by robwaybro In reply to Don't expect security in ...

I have read the previous replies and comments and I have to bring this up.

There are several hardware and software keystroke loggers that are invisible to the end user and it captures the keystrokes at the local machine, and can even email them to the person that setup the computer.

These would capture your logins and passwords to your ssh, putty, ssl, whatever account so you could actually make a great big security hole in your system thinking you were being secure.

The internet cafes may be good for casual searching, but I would not do anything business related, or connect to a personal machine at all using one.

Even connecting a laptop to a cybercafe's system is not safe with the ability to use a sniffer to capture your packets.

There does need to be a lot of thought given to this kind of access.

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by Jellimonsta In reply to Keystroke logger

No one method of security so it seems, is by any standards secure these days. I agree that cyber cafes should not be used for business purposes. Uncontrolled network access and unrestricted computer usage are bad situations waiting to happen. Technology is only going to take you so far in securing your information. Along with policies and end user security training there also has to be some accountability. It is fine for team members to be aware of corporate security measures but if they are not enforced then they are not worth the paper they are printed on.

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Company should think about adding this into their security policy

by dick_kp In reply to True

Just a little summary. May be company should think about putting "No Internet Cafe for company activities" into their security policy. As a user, I won't be happy with this policy but I think it will protect both me and my company.

May be company should also think about providing other ways for their staffs accessing Interneton their trips. Such as a company roaming account and a notebook.


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Hold the bandwagon I want hop on!!

by jkaras In reply to Don't expect security in ...

I cant understand why people flock to these cafes? To me it is just a bunch of self important wannabes trying to look cool jumping on any bandwagon to keep up with the Jones. If your on a business trip and need sensitive email data chances are you have laptop that you could VPN into your network. I like interacting with computers but I dont get the whole email craze, it's not that cool, I can live a few days without getting my doses of lame jokes and viagra spam. Go to a library, use the hotels pc

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