There are some thumb rules to be followed to make your laptop secure from
attacks. I have compiled a few for you.
- Make sure it’s actually the hotel network to which you’re connecting. WiFi density is so high in some areas that you have to be cautious. Just because you are in a hotel room, doesn’t mean that the hotel network is the only one that can be seen.
- Keep your anti-virus software and patches up-to-date and firewall enabled. Disable file and printer sharing, likely the easiest way to compromise a remote user. Look for WEP (wireless encryption protocol) or WPA (WiFi protected access) when connecting. If you open the tool to view available wireless networks, it will say unsecured if it is not encrypted. Using WEP (encryption) gives you a reasonable amount of protection from someone just reading the signal out of the air.
- Set your computer to NOT auto connect to wireless access points that are listed as ‘unsecure’. A common method of compromise is to establish a fake access point. Users with this feature turned off will automatically associate to your fake access point. You can even provide real internet access, but monitor all of their traffic. Or, if the user automatically associated to you, you can browse their shares without them even realizing.
- When using a hotel network, establish a VPN connection to route your traffic through. The VPN client disables what they call ’split tunneling’, which is the ability for your machine to connect to two or more networks at the same time. By establishing a VPN connection, no one else on the hotel network can see your traffic or connect to you.