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Firefox addon, Firesheep the novice way to sidejack

I read several articles about Firesheep, the addon for Firefox, and the sidejacking that it performs on a computer network. The first think I would like to say is that most these articles basically encourage people to try it out, and make people think their information will be stolen while using the WiFi at the local coffee shop. For anyone who doesn’t know sidejacking has been around for a number of years and it isn’t even close to the only way you can have information taken from you while using a open network. It also doesn’t just apply to Facebook or any of the sites in the list, this is for all web traffic that uses HTTP. It is unsecure and is just fine for most of the traffic on the Internet. So this really isn’t anything new, and using common sense will help you avoid any real problems.

The first thing I would do to combat this is to not go to websites that has personal information on them while at internet cafes, book stores, or coffee shops. This eliminates any real problems with someone sidjacking, packet sniffing, or any other means of getting information from you on these open networks. So if you want to go get some coffee and while you are there you want to check the news, feel free to. But if you must check your email or Crackbook, you can use SSL or HTTPS to logon to these websites. Most website will switch back over to HTTP after you login so you will have to use an application such as Force-TLS. This is a Firefox extension allows your browser to change HTTP to HTTPS on sites that you indicate in the Firefox Add On “Preferences” menu, protecting your login information and ensuring a secure connection when you access social sites and email.

I still believe that most people should just think about what they are doing on the Internet and what they can live with if they are attacked. Can they survive having their email hijacked or someone posting garbage on their Facebook account. Otherwise just use your phone for Facebook updates or wait till you get home. I only use place like that if I am traveling and need to get access for something. You take a chance of getting into an accident everyday driving to work, using a public or open WiFi network is the same thing. So just use common sense and you should have no problems.

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