1. IBMJunkman's Avatar
    Is using the phone on wi-fi more of a security liability than on 3-4g? Or does a phone have different (more secure) protocols that a simple tablet on wi-fi?
    05-22-2014 11:51 AM
  2. Almeuit's Avatar
    Depends on the security of the wifi network. An open network like a restaurants.. I would never do anything on that except just normal tasks.

    Sent from my T-Mobile Note 3 using AC Forums.
    05-22-2014 12:06 PM
  3. Dansyacht's Avatar
    If you find yourself needing to use unsecured wifi networks, you should consider a VPN (virtual private network). Here is one example.
    05-22-2014 02:41 PM
  4. Mooncatt's Avatar
    Public Wi-Fi's are notoriously unsecured. If you're on your home network (or any other) that has encryption setup and requires a password to login, then you're just about as secure as mobile data. Also avoid using the WPS router pairing button. While the internet traffic may be encrypted after the fact, the WPS pin is sent over the air in plain text during the initial pairing, meaning someone could sniff that out and use it to hack into your network.
    05-23-2014 08:43 AM
  5. IBMJunkman's Avatar
    I know public wifi is generally not safe. I was just wondering if a cell phone using wifi used different protocols that were safer than those used by computers. Is internet traffic sent via the 3-4g method in plain text, too?
    05-23-2014 09:18 AM
  6. Mooncatt's Avatar
    I know public wifi is generally not safe. I was just wondering if a cell phone using wifi used different protocols that were safer than those used by computers. Is internet traffic sent via the 3-4g method in plain text, too?
    Mobile data (3/4G) is always encrypted. As far as I know, security over Wi-Fi is based mostly on the router's settings. Doesn't matter what kind of device is using it, it depends on if the Wi-Fi protocols (I.e WPA, PSK and other methods) are setup to login with. If so, you're good. If not, you could have problems with someone taking your data. And then the WPS pairing button issue I mentioned earlier.

    I've never used a VPN, so can't speak to the security of those, but I think they do offer some protections.
    05-23-2014 09:59 AM
  7. Fastfwd's Avatar
    I was thinking about this myself recently as well while sending a private message through my phone while at home connected to my Wi-Fi. Generally, sure, your home network wifi would be considered as secure if the appropriate security were setup on the router (mine is). I consider that a ‘reasonable person’ standard so to speak of believing my home network to be secure. MAC address lockdown beyond that – so, more than the average person’s home network security most likely.

    I believe all of my home internet activity is being monitored though by whom and under what questionable legal authority to do so I don’t know. Is it *reasonable* search and seizure if details of my home internet activity are made known to the public? Oklahoma seems to believe so apparently. We’re all facing a dark time of observation of our 4th Amendment Rights and privacy. I believe I am just suffering a case beyond the imagination of what could ever be conceived to be reality.

    It’s probably not going to matter for me personally, but I might believe using T-Mobile’s network offers a slight advantage for me. I might just be the super paranoid exception. I do indeed intend to see my case taken to court at some point btw. I have no doubt about my 4th Amendment Rights and far more than that have been grossly violated in a manner that will cause a national outrage if it makes news.
    05-23-2014 11:05 AM
  8. AZgl1500's Avatar
    If you have a need for secure traffic, ie doing work for the job, and you are having to use a McDonalds or other free WiFi that is 'open', there is only one good solution for you.

    Purchase a VPN account.

    Once that is done and your phone setup to always log into that account, you will "tunnel thru" an open WiFi router with totally encrypted data to the VPN's host server. From there you will be on the open internet just like you would be from your Office Desktop computer. The big difference is, no one can snoop on you at the local McDonalds. You are invisible to them.

    My employer provided us a VPN service so that when we were away from the office, we could "tunnel to" the office servers totally encrypted.

    05-23-2014 11:31 AM

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