Originally Posted by Vito
Just wondering if or any special precautions are needed with a Mac lappy if using in hotels or airports?
I'll be traveling first time with the new rig and wondering what security issues I need to address other than not keeping top secret personal info on the lappy.
Will I be able to just scan for open wireless networks and log on and be done?
How secure is the wireless on the Macs?
Since others have covered people trying to hack into your computer, I will cover the opposite obvious that everyone has missed(Or I am just blind and didn't notice
With ANY open wireless access point, ALWAYS be careful what you transmit and where to. This applies to ANY computer, be it running Linux, Mac, or Windows.
If you are on an open unprotected access point, do NOT transmit any passwords(Meaning log into anything) unless at the very least the login provides encryption. Unknown to most people, email logins in most cases do NOT encrypt passwords, though you can set it up to do so depending on who provides your email. Another common culprit is FTP which standard FTP is ALL in cleartext. So anyone with a sniffer could get your password in either of those cases. SFTP(Aka FTP tunneled over SSH) IS however secure in most cases and should be fine to use, but always be aware of what you are using.
Websites, not all websites encrypt their logins via SSL properly. This is something to be aware of no matter WHERE you are as even on an encrypted and protected network, the moment it gets on the internet would still be in plaintext.
All of these are ways of someone finding out passwords by just using a simple packet sniffer. WEP access is not considered to secure these days either, if you are working with anything you really do need secure I would reccomend going with WPA access points. Or you could tunnel your traffic over SSH to a proxy for added security, or if on an unencrypted network that by itself can provide you with pretty decent security, from your laptop to the point of the proxy you use. However it does take some work and a computer to use for this purpose elsewhere.
Just a few examples of things to look out for while traveling, and some hopefully helpful hints. Again none of these are OS specific, they apply to EVERY OS just the same.