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Sharing router with strangers

Last response: in Mac Os X
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September 15, 2011 1:49:50 AM

Hello,
I am renting a condo and am sharing a router with several other condo holders who I do not know. The router is not in my condo. How do I protect my computer?
a b 8 Security
September 15, 2011 2:02:23 AM

you could create your own network by using an AP Client and a router

use this in AP Client mode to connect to the WIFI and connect the WAN port of a router to the network connection.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

just make sure the router will use a different IP scheme. so if the Condo Wifi uses 192.168.1.xxx assign 192.168.5.1 as the LAN IP of your router
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September 15, 2011 2:29:30 AM

Emerald said:
you could create your own network by using an AP Client and a router

use this in AP Client mode to connect to the WIFI and connect the WAN port of a router to the network connection.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

just make sure the router will use a different IP scheme. so if the Condo Wifi uses 192.168.1.xxx assign 192.168.5.1 as the LAN IP of your router


Emerald,
Thanks for your quick reply. Forgive my lack of computer knowledge--the router is not in my unit--do I need to plug into it? Please be basic.

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September 15, 2011 2:36:49 AM

beverlyfranks said:
Hello,
I am renting a condo and am sharing a router with several other condo holders who I do not know. The router is not in my condo. How do I protect my computer?
I would try to make friends with these people and use a password.Get to know them!
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September 15, 2011 2:43:27 AM

musical marv said:
I would try to make friends with these people and use a password.Get to know them!

Thanks,

I live in a resort town and the other units are nightly rentals--What book would you suggest that I get to understand computer basics? I don't have a good handle on the simple things so I am trying to understand Emerald's answer
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September 15, 2011 2:50:01 AM

Your Pc is automatically protected, they wont be able to acess your files, except for those in the Public folder. This happens to be the default configuration, you may change it for more security under System Preferences, however its not necessary.

Altough, if you want your computer better protected against a professional hacker intentionally and specifically trying to invade your computer, you may want to use your own internet service provider, and by that I mean you gonna have to pay for one, however, Id dont think it would do much...
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September 15, 2011 2:55:01 AM

thanks-you have relieved my anxiety
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September 15, 2011 5:53:27 AM

Okay I hate to be the party pooper here.... but using an unknown wireless is a bad idea. You don't know much about computers so I'll put this as plainly as I can, sending data on an unknown wireless network would be similar to giving stranger your mail and asking them to stick it in the envelope and mail it. You have no idea if anyone is looking at your data, as it is on their network. DO NOT do any banking or any other highly private or secure transactions or correspondence when using an unknown network. The type of know-how needed to be able to sniff out what you are doing is not nearly as difficult as it once was. There are several programs and OS's out there that can allow anyone with very little security and networking expertise to steal information off of a network that they set up. Get your own internet connection, and run your own network.

There is a good chance that the people who run this network I perfectly decent people. Are you willing to wager all the money in your bank account, your personal information, and your private life on that?

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September 15, 2011 11:44:53 AM

I had had a feeling that you were right. I had my own router in the past and I felt more secure--hence my post. Thanks for pushing me over the edge. I will get my own internet.
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Anonymous
a b 8 Security
September 15, 2011 12:14:04 PM

roagie said:
Okay I hate to be the party pooper here.... but using an unknown wireless is a bad idea. You don't know much about computers so I'll put this as plainly as I can, sending data on an unknown wireless network would be similar to giving stranger your mail and asking them to stick it in the envelope and mail it. You have no idea if anyone is looking at your data, as it is on their network. DO NOT do any banking or any other highly private or secure transactions or correspondence when using an unknown network. The type of know-how needed to be able to sniff out what you are doing is not nearly as difficult as it once was. There are several programs and OS's out there that can allow anyone with very little security and networking expertise to steal information off of a network that they set up. Get your own internet connection, and run your own network.

There is a good chance that the people who run this network I perfectly decent people. Are you willing to wager all the money in your bank account, your personal information, and your private life on that?


Why are you spreading FUD about "unsecure" wireless networks. "Unsecure" simply means the wireless router does not require a password. A "secure" wireless network is no more secure. As long as the OP's computer makes a secure connection (https://) with the remote computer, all information flowing between the 2 computers is encrypted. I would also suggest that the OP's wireless connection is set for the Public level of security.
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September 15, 2011 12:36:18 PM

OK now I am lost. So what you are saying is that I am equally protected on this router as I would if I had my own router? I just ordered home network for dummies. Never cared until now.
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Anonymous
a b 8 Security
September 15, 2011 1:02:55 PM

I'm just saying that the terms "secure" & "unsecure" when applied to a wireless network only mean that the network does or does not require a password. It doesn't mean you computer is secure. That is determined by the remote computer.
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September 15, 2011 1:28:22 PM

Either way, get your own internet, you will surf faster, an that is always welcome. Having said that, when you get your router, make sure to put a password on it, so your neihbours dont steal your internet. As a matter of fact, in many countries having a non-password protected network is ilegal, and stealing internet gives you serious jail time.
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September 15, 2011 1:37:17 PM

Quote:
I'm just saying that the terms "secure" & "unsecure" when applied to a wireless network only mean that the network does or does not require a password. It doesn't mean you computer is secure. That is determined by the remote computer.


The router does require a password but, of course the password is shared with everyone on the router. What if I all firewall and firevault?
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September 15, 2011 1:39:47 PM

Just use a strong Windows log in password. That same password will be applied to all files on your PC. A pass word of 8-10 characters will be fine and keep the average snooper-college kid out. If the FBI or something wants your data they are going to get it and there is nothing you can do to stop them.
Who cares about securing the network? It’s not your network. Secure your one computer by turning off file sharing and remote assistance, and use a log in password. That will keep your PC safe.
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September 15, 2011 1:44:26 PM

get your own rounter, isp and use a wired connection and disable wireless on your rounter...

or just realize the odds of someone wanting to steal your information are very very low, especially if u have the one bedroom and your neighbors have the 5 bedroom penthouse, who is worth going after
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September 15, 2011 2:00:47 PM

leandrodafontoura said:
Your Pc is automatically protected, they wont be able to acess your files, except for those in the Public folder. This happens to be the default configuration, you may change it for more security under System Preferences, however its not necessary.





Have you ever used a computer before? Being on a LAN with untrusted computers is dicey no matter what. No matter what your settings, no matter what your passwords, no matter what patches and firewalls you have running, there's always the possibility of packet sniffing, and since you don't know the origin of the connection, the owner of the AP could be passing you through a proxy and you could be falling victim to a man-in-the-middle attack any time you go on the Internet.
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September 15, 2011 2:27:06 PM

poor basterd, yall are confusing the hell out of him.
Short answer is, if you can afford it, please get your own.
However, you will be just fine using the shared one "IF" you make sure you secure your PC with things like strong login password, and ensure you, like the other poster mentioned, make sure you set up your connection as a PUBLIC network. Windows will do the rest for you.
Don't feed into the garbage about secure vs unsecure. Nothing is secure via wireless, nothing!. But like they always say, Locks are to keep honest people honest. same with simple security measures like good passwords. Determined hacker will get all that info no matter how good you think your security is. (sorry for the scare)
In short my points listed at the top are sufficient. Lots of pros and cons to each. If anyway possible get your own. If someone on that network downloads something illegal, you get all your gear impounded until they figure out who did it. (I'm a retired cop, I know this)
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a b 8 Security
September 15, 2011 2:45:11 PM

Basically the AP Client will connect to the condo wifi and converts it to a wired connection which in turn you can connect to your own personal router to create your own network.
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September 15, 2011 3:31:48 PM

Emerald said:
Basically the AP Client will connect to the condo wifi and converts it to a wired connection which in turn you can connect to your own personal router to create your own network.

I don't know if this makes a difference but I have a mac. I will investigate AP client. I checked out the mobile router that you linked above but it looks like it needs to be plugged in and is not a repeater-- I read reviews on Amazon.

Bottom line though is ignorance is not bliss and you all have successfully motivated me to more deeply understand all things computer which is a plus
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September 15, 2011 3:38:46 PM

I guess what got me was when I opened finder I noticed "Shared Computer" under this was the name of the guy upstairs. How did that get there? Was it because we are on the same router? I am embarrassed to admit that I did not then have a password on my login-so I was wondering if he set up the sharing. He had worked for wired magazine in the past for whatever that is worth. I changed all of my passwords making them long and strong.
I think I am slightly more paranoid than average--*** happens
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September 15, 2011 4:04:31 PM

His not on a LAn, just stealing network....

by the way, password on the OS? Thats a pain in the ass...
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September 15, 2011 4:08:11 PM

If a professional hacker wants your info, he will get it, doesnt matter password, router, netwrok, etc....you just have to accept the fact that anything is possible.

By the way, like I said, the shared thing, you can check system preferences, all that the guy upstairs is able to see is your public folder by default. You may go there and make your computer invisible. Windows users may not know of this.
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September 15, 2011 7:02:37 PM

Quote:
Why are you spreading FUD about "unsecure" wireless networks. "Unsecure" simply means the wireless router does not require a password. A "secure" wireless network is no more secure. As long as the OP's computer makes a secure connection (https://) with the remote computer, all information flowing between the 2 computers is encrypted. I would also suggest that the OP's wireless connection is set for the Public level of security.


I said "Secure transaction" no where did I say secure wireless.... and there are plenty of way around https:. Using an unknown network is definitely opening yourself up to attack regardless if you use https or not.
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Anonymous
a b 8 Security
September 15, 2011 7:07:42 PM

roagie said:
I said "Secure transaction" no where did I say secure wireless.... and there are plenty of way around https:. Using an unknown network is definitely opening yourself up to attack regardless if you use https or not.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Https

"The main idea of HTTPS is to create a secure channel over an insecure network. This ensures reasonable protection from eavesdroppers and man-in-the-middle attacks, provided that adequate cipher suites are used and that the server certificate is verified and trusted."
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September 15, 2011 7:11:00 PM

And if the routing table and DNS are compromosied?

you know say maybe on a compromised router?

I would agree with you Grumpy 100% if it was a starbucks, a hotel, or some other local business establishment. But we are talking about an unknown private router on an unknown private network with unknown users.

My advice would be get your own connection.
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Anonymous
a b 8 Security
September 15, 2011 8:13:58 PM

I guess paranoia runs deep on Tom's.
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September 15, 2011 9:05:51 PM

Quote:
I guess paranoia runs deep on Tom's.




So being informed = paranoia?


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September 16, 2011 2:38:47 AM

beverlyfranks said:
Thanks,

I live in a resort town and the other units are nightly rentals--What book would you suggest that I get to understand computer basics? I don't have a good handle on the simple things so I am trying to understand Emerald's answer
There a lot of basic books explaining computers.Go to the library and you can research it.Try joining a local computer club also. Go to the Apple website where there are countless answers what you are looking for. A good site I belong to is Mactech where they will gladly help you and they are friendly people also. Marv
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September 16, 2011 6:41:04 PM

leandrodafontoura said:
If a professional hacker wants your info, he will get it, doesnt matter password, router, netwrok, etc....you just have to accept the fact that anything is possible.

By the way, like I said, the shared thing, you can check system preferences, all that the guy upstairs is able to see is your public folder by default. You may go there and make your computer invisible. Windows users may not know of this.

thanks Leandro
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September 16, 2011 6:43:43 PM

Quote:
Why are you spreading FUD about "unsecure" wireless networks. "Unsecure" simply means the wireless router does not require a password. A "secure" wireless network is no more secure. As long as the OP's computer makes a secure connection (https://) with the remote computer, all information flowing between the 2 computers is encrypted. I would also suggest that the OP's wireless connection is set for the Public level of security.


Grumpy, just noticed you joined in 1970. I was in college in 1972 and we were programing with IBM cards!--a simple program in a math class--so very impressed
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September 16, 2011 7:02:14 PM

leandrodafontoura said:
If a professional hacker wants your info, he will get it, doesnt matter password, router, netwrok, etc....you just have to accept the fact that anything is possible.

By the way, like I said, the shared thing, you can check system preferences, all that the guy upstairs is able to see is your public folder by default. You may go there and make your computer invisible. Windows users may not know of this.


Not having dealt with this issue before, there is lots that I don't know> When I clicked his name under "shared computer" the option existed to "share screen" when I clicked this it asked for a password. As I did not have a password at the time, could he have clicked "share screen" and get to my screen? I still don't understand how we got to be shared users? Was it because we were on the same router?
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September 17, 2011 3:32:29 AM

leandrodafontoura said:
Either way, get your own internet, you will surf faster, an that is always welcome. Having said that, when you get your router, make sure to put a password on it, so your neihbours dont steal your internet. As a matter of fact, in many countries having a non-password protected network is ilegal, and stealing internet gives you serious jail time.
Very good answer to give her and a correct one. Your own router is the best to have.
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September 17, 2011 4:34:55 AM

beverlyfranks said:
Not having dealt with this issue before, there is lots that I don't know> When I clicked his name under "shared computer" the option existed to "share screen" when I clicked this it asked for a password. As I did not have a password at the time, could he have clicked "share screen" and get to my screen? I still don't understand how we got to be shared users? Was it because we were on the same router?


Shared Screen: Yes when you did not have a password on your computers if he clicked on the share screen button all he would have had to do was enter your user name to take control of your computer. If you are like most users your computer name and user name were probably pretty similar.

Shared Users: Yes, it was because you were on the same router. A more accurate name for that service would be shared network, since it keeps track of all the nodes on the network that are accessible.

To Grumpy:

You know dang well if one of your users came up to you and said "I GOT HACKED" and described the situation in which they blindly used an unkown wireless, you would /facepalm.

Admit it you grumpy dwarf! :D 
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September 17, 2011 3:26:04 PM

Thanks Roagie for spelling it out to me. This was my first time on this forum and I deeply appreciate all the answers for what I know are very basic questions.











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September 17, 2011 3:39:50 PM

musical marv said:
There a lot of basic books explaining computers.Go to the library and you can research it.Try joining a local computer club also. Go to the Apple website where there are countless answers what you are looking for. A good site I belong to is Mactech where they will gladly help you and they are friendly people also. Marv


Thanks Marv for all your good suggestions. Appreciate it and will do.
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September 17, 2011 4:04:03 PM

roagie said:
Shared Screen: Yes when you did not have a password on your computers if he clicked on the share screen button all he would have had to do was enter your user name to take control of your computer. If you are like most users your computer name and user name were probably pretty similar.

Shared Users: Yes, it was because you were on the same router. A more accurate name for that service would be shared network, since it keeps track of all the nodes on the network that are accessible.

To Grumpy:

You know dang well if one of your users came up to you and said "I GOT HACKED" and described the situation in which they blindly used an unkown wireless, you would /facepalm.

Admit it you grumpy dwarf! :D 


One more question that it not entirely clear and is really nagging me: Did he have to set us up to be shared users or was it automatic? I have lived here for a month and the first time I saw his name under shared users was the other night. Plus since I changed the name of my local network and added a password, I have not seen his name again under shared computer. So in my mind it was either a coincidence or he intentionally set it up--and I don't know the answer to that and perhaps that is my main concern
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September 19, 2011 3:18:21 AM

beverlyfranks said:
One more question that it not entirely clear and is really nagging me: Did he have to set us up to be shared users or was it automatic? I have lived here for a month and the first time I saw his name under shared users was the other night. Plus since I changed the name of my local network and added a password, I have not seen his name again under shared computer. So in my mind it was either a coincidence or he intentionally set it up--and I don't know the answer to that and perhaps that is my main concern
You seem level headed do not trust anyone especially with routers unless you know them personally.Especially in today's corrupt cyber world.
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September 20, 2011 4:26:12 AM

If you go to System Preference and then to Sharing: there are settings that allow sharing on your computer, if you turn them off it will take your computer off the shared list.

Specifically: File Sharing and Remote Management

If either of those two are checked they will show up under the shared list on any other Mac on the network.


:) 

Hope this helps.
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September 21, 2011 2:50:44 AM

musical marv said:
You seem level headed do not trust anyone especially with routers unless you know them personally.Especially in today's corrupt cyber world.


The funny thing is: I was on a trip and my car was broken into last night in a hotel parking lot and they took everything that was not bolted down including my trash! Just glad they didn't take my car:) 
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September 21, 2011 2:56:38 AM

beverlyfranks said:
The funny thing is: I was on a trip and my car was broken into last night in a hotel parking lot and they took everything that was not bolted down including my trash! Just glad they didn't take my car:) 
thankfully you were not in the car yourself and was not hurt.
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September 21, 2011 4:26:54 AM

too many things to be grateful for
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September 22, 2011 3:19:59 AM

beverlyfranks said:
too many things to be grateful for
GOD was watching over you.
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September 22, 2011 3:31:08 AM

musical marv said:
GOD was watching over you.


I thought it was very ironic that I was so worried about my computer security and then my car gets hacked.
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September 22, 2011 4:27:35 AM

TLDR....

everyone be afraid of hackers and technology! its so complex you can not educate yourself....

blarg
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September 23, 2011 12:15:27 AM

My two cents. Basic computer books are hard to come by. Computing is so broad that you could read 20,000 pages and miss entire subjects. The best thing is to find something you like and learn all you can combining books that inform the work you're doing. When it comes to security you can study the CEH certification, which focuses on information security but you'll need at least a net+ and an a+ study guide with a glossary to flesh out some points.
When you have a router and if you don't plan on sharing files with networks but want to let guests use it you can turn on "AP Isolation"
Like several other people said it makes sense to use HTTPS:// for all you can at home but especially on shared wireless. A lot of public wifi places, even major players sometimes have management scrimp on network equipment leaving their customers vulnerable. Be careful of IM programs or email programs that might send your information unencrypted. You might want to keep Mac Mail and AIM from autoloading on your mac if you might be somewhere on public LAN.
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September 23, 2011 3:10:25 AM

beverlyfranks said:
I thought it was very ironic that I was so worried about my computer security and then my car gets hacked.
There is to much violence and crime in the U.S. due to the piss poor economy we are facing today.
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September 30, 2011 1:20:50 AM

starzty said:
My two cents. Basic computer books are hard to come by. Computing is so broad that you could read 20,000 pages and miss entire subjects. The best thing is to find something you like and learn all you can combining books that inform the work you're doing. When it comes to security you can study the CEH certification, which focuses on information security but you'll need at least a net+ and an a+ study guide with a glossary to flesh out some points.
When you have a router and if you don't plan on sharing files with networks but want to let guests use it you can turn on "AP Isolation"
Like several other people said it makes sense to use HTTPS:// for all you can at home but especially on shared wireless. A lot of public wifi places, even major players sometimes have management scrimp on network equipment leaving their customers vulnerable. Be careful of IM programs or email programs that might send your information unencrypted. You might want to keep Mac Mail and AIM from autoloading on your mac if you might be somewhere on public LAN.

Thank you starzty for the info--appreciate it
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September 30, 2011 1:23:01 AM

musical marv said:
There is to much violence and crime in the U.S. due to the piss poor economy we are facing today.


true, it feels like we are going down the tubes. I don't even want to keep up with the news
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!