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Am I hacking myself using a tablet on wifi?


AllThumbs
Resolved

Likes # 0

Can someone put my mind at rest on this.

My hom pc has a firewall (software) and various AV/malware kit running. My new tablet has anti viurs running on it but no firewall. If I go online via the tablet using the wifi am I not bypassing my firewall security? Is my tablet therefore suddenly waving a little red flag at my IP address and shouting "come and get it!"

(I know I could get around this by implementing my router's firewall but I'm not technically savy and such things I beleive require a degree of know how.)

Or am I missing something?

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Woolwell

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You cannot hack yourself. Can someone else hack you?

I guess that you are using your tablet for internet browsing and e-mail. It may be unwise to send and receive e-mails on a tablet that contain sensitive information. I would not do on-line banking on a tablet.

Your router should have a hardware firewall which is normally on by default and therefore, in your case, I guess is on already but it would help to which router that you are using.

IMO the threat to your home pc by using a tablet on your wifi is minimal.

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AllThumbs

Likes # 0

Cheers again Woolwell, many thanks for your input.

I agree about the online banking comment, though you're also inclined if you're using a tablet to browse the web you might be also be using it to access ebay or amazon, in which case you're putting out passwords etc.

My router is a Linksys WAG54 (slightly elderly but works fine for me). Having returned to the manual again I see you're right and the SPI firewall is enabled by default.

I wasn't concerned about my home pc's security, but rather than my tablet because it has no firewall of its own is being thought of as secure behind the security of the system (the pc's firewall, av etc) which it bypasses and has no internal version of. My problem, as previously said is more about how to use the tablet and feel that it is a secure method of accessing the net. Sure you can stick a free av product on it (AVG do one), but I am feeling more paranoid these days over security.

This is not to say I don't love the tablet - it's great for certain things, I just don't feel that it's secure for net access.

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Woolwell

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It's fine for what it is designed to do eg browse the web, etc. I'm not sure that I would purchase from Amazon on one though but having said that it's not much different from buying by card over the phone. You should be able to erase the browser cache and cookies, etc. As with all on-line security you have to be careful which sites you visit and what you click on. What you are doing is much safer then using a wifi hotspot in a public location.

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Secret-Squirrel

Likes # 2

"agree about the online banking comment, though you're also inclined if you're using a tablet to browse the web you might be also be using it to access ebay or amazon, in which case you're putting out passwords etc."

Using Amazon, eBay, and even your online banking is just as safe on your tablet AllThumbs. This is because they're all secure (https) sites and therefore the data is encrypted in the browser before it's transmitted. Even if a hacker managed to capture that data, he wouldn't be able to make any sense of it.

The same rules apply whether you're using tablet, laptop, or PC - make sure you're on a secure site before handing over your credit card or banking details.

"If I go online via the tablet using the wifi am I not bypassing my firewall security? Is my tablet therefore suddenly waving a little red flag at my IP address and shouting "come and get it!"

If your router has wireless security enabled then you needn't worry about that either.

Also, all routers use something called NAT (Network Address Translation) which means that the router will forward all data to you that you requested and block all incoming data that's unsolicited. It's this mechanism that prevents hackers getting access to your PC or tablet.

If your tablet had a direct connection to the Internet then that's a different story, but it doesn't, so there's no need to worry.

Your tablet is just as secure as any other device that's connecting to your home router. It certainly doesn't need a software firewall.

Hope that puts your mind at ease :)

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AllThumbs

Likes # 0

Many thanks Secret Squirrel, this put my mind considerably easier on the matter.

Many thanks also to both of your for your replies.

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woodchip

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Router Firewall's only work on Inbound Traffic, not outbound

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