Forum Thread

Smartphone security while staying at Airbnb host's house

Brian1 6,233 1,370 June 25, 2016 at 04:06 PM
I'll be staying at an Airbnb host's house in the UK in a few weeks. I'll be traveling with a smartphone that I'll be using to access my email as well as other sensitive accounts such as Carbonite and maybe Dashlane. I'd like to be able to use her wifi while I'm at her house to cut down on data usage.

Should I be concerned about any of my account usernames or passwords being captured? Some of them I stay logged into - such as my Gmail account (which includes Gmail, Drive, Photos, Docs, etc.).

Anything else I should be aware of or concerned about that I might not have thought of?

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#2
get a vpn
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#3
Quote from sushigaiden View Post :
get a vpn

Ditto. And set the kill switch to terminate if it loses connection to the vpn server. Utter madness to trust any stranger's wifi.
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#4
most stuff should be using https.

but vpn is definitely much more secure.
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#5
I go to hotels, I vpn back home. I go to relatives house, I vpn back to my home.
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#6
Quote from fyu View Post :
most stuff should be using https.

but vpn is definitely much more secure.
If you aren't using a device / software that pins certificates you're somewhat vulnerable. If you're using a device with unpatched ssl vulnerabilities you're very exposed.
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#7
Thanks all. Sounds like a VPN is a no-brainer. I have no idea how to set one up or who to go with. Any suggestions on a free one?

Quote from jkee View Post :
If you aren't using a device / software that pins certificates you're somewhat vulnerable. If you're using a device with unpatched ssl vulnerabilities you're very exposed.
How could I find this out? I'm not sure if this will help or not, but this is the phone I'll be using [telestial.com].
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#8
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Thanks all. Sounds like a VPN is a no-brainer. I have no idea how to set one up or who to go with. Any suggestions on a free one?



How could I find this out? I'm not sure if this will help or not, but this is the phone I'll be using [telestial.com].

With vpn services, you often get what you pay for imo. Free or cheap ones are often brutally slow.

http://lifehacker.com/5935863/fiv...-providers.

Of the five listed, I personally would not recommend pia as I found them to be unacceptably slow.
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#9
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Thanks all. Sounds like a VPN is a no-brainer. I have no idea how to set one up or who to go with. Any suggestions on a free one?



How could I find this out? I'm not sure if this will help or not, but this is the phone I'll be using [telestial.com].
That phone is heartbleed vulnerable and stagefright vulnerable..It's sufficiently vulnerable that I personally wouldn't use it.

Something like an unlocked Nexus 5X would be a nice phone to travel with.
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#10
Quote from fyu View Post :
most stuff should be using https.

but vpn is definitely much more secure.
Could you please explain how a VPN is more secure than connecting to, for example, Gmail through its HTTPS?
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Last edited by Rebound June 26, 2016 at 11:06 AM
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#11
Quote from Rebound View Post :
Could you please explain how a VPN is more secure than connecting to, for example, Gmail through its HTTPS?
Somebody can block HTTPS in attempt to make communications downgrade to HTTP. If somebody can forge or get their hand on a valid cert for another domain (compromised CA or rouge root cert installed) they can get your data.

Devices vulnerable to heartbleed are much easier. http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/ha...unications

If you use a VPN you're putting quite a bit of trust in the VPN as well
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#12
Quote from jkee View Post :
Somebody can block HTTPS in attempt to make communications downgrade to HTTP. If somebody can forge or get their hand on a valid cert for another domain (compromised CA or rouge root cert installed) they can get your data.

Devices vulnerable to heartbleed are much easier. http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/ha...unications

If you use a VPN you're putting quite a bit of trust in the VPN as well
But if you downgrade to http, the browser will say so.
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#13
If I'm on data at their house, do I have anything to worry about regarding them hacking the transmission?
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#14
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
With vpn services, you often get what you pay for imo. Free or cheap ones are often brutally slow.

http://lifehacker.com/5935863/fiv...-providers.

Of the five listed, I personally would not recommend pia as I found them to be unacceptably slow.
I've had PIA for a couple years with no issues. Connectivity in China is a bit flaky but I guess that's expected.

As a side note I just set up my home router for VPN (OpenVPN) and it seems to be *OK* but we'll see how it is when I am overseas.

BTW a big plus for PIA is that they have very friendly android and ios GUI's. It used to be on ios you had to manually configure every server which was a giant PITA. Now getting connected to the VPN is just a simple app, and choosing the server is far easier as well. Very good implementation.
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#15
I recommend something Springfield branded.
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