Many people dismiss network eavesdropping as a security risk under the assumption that their network traffic isn’t sufficiently interesting, and besides, who would sit around in a coffee shop just to sniff random Wi-Fi packets? Alas, the reality is that most such monitoring is done by software robots — possibly even in the form of malware running in the background of hijacked PCs — slurping up everything and winnowing out the interesting bits, which could include email addresses to spam, passwords to use for identity theft, and credit card numbers to resell.
That’s where Joe Kissell focuses in this week’s installment from “Take Control of Security for Mac Users.” In Chapter 6, “Improve Your Network Security,” he identifies the primary avenues of attack, recommends WPA encryption for Wi-Fi networks you control, and encourages the use of a virtual private network (VPN) for use on public Wi-Fi networks or in any situation where it’s essential that your network traffic remain private.
If you’re just getting started with “Take Control of Security for Mac Users,” the first two chapticles are available to everyone, but subsequent ones are limited to TidBITS members. Those who join the TidBITS membership program receive other benefits too, but what’s most important is that TidBITS members have kept TidBITS afloat the last few years — your support truly is necessary. If you’re already a TidBITS member, log in to the TidBITS site using the email address from which you joined to read and comment on these chapters.
Chapter 1: “Introducing Mac Security”
Chapter 2: “Learn Security Basics”
Chapter 3: “Perform Quick Security Fixes”
Chapter 4: “Beef Up Your Security Settings”
Chapter 5: “Improve Your Passwords”
Chapter 6: “Improve Your Network Security”
The full ebook of “Take Control of Security for Mac Users” will be available for purchase by everyone in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats once it’s complete.