CollectionMine

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admin2 On March - 9 - 2011

online backup software

Eric Butler decided to prove to the world that security on popular websites like Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.com is laughable.  He did this by creating and distributing a Firefox extension called Firesheep.

Firesheep lets you essentially hijack other people’s insecure social network connections.  Simply put, Facebook among other sites authenticates its clients with cookies. If someone uses a public WiFi connection to log onto Facebook et al., that opens the door for anyone using Firesheep to capture and display their authentication information. The connection can then be hijacked.

As Butler explained, “As soon as anyone on the network visits an insecure website known to Firesheep, their name and photo will be displayed.” All you have to do is double click on their name and you will be able to log into that user’s site with their authentication information.

Many social network sites are not secured besides Facebook. Foursquare, and Gowalla are also vulnerable as are Amazon.com, Basecamp, bit.ly, Cisco, CNET, Dropbox, Enom, Evernote, Facebook, Flickr, Github, Google, HackerNews, Harvest, Windows Live, NY Times, Pivotal Tracker, Slicehost, tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, Yahoo, and Yelp.

These sites, and many more, only encrypt your login. Once you’re logged in they use an unsecured connection with a simple cookie check. Anyone with that cookie can masquerade as you. That is the vulnerability that Firesheep exploits.

Eric Butler made Firesheep available for free. It has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. The amount of mischief/harm it can do is incalculable.

Anytime you’re using an open WiFi connection, anyone with FIresheep can quickly access your most private and personal information and correspondence. And you won’t know until after the damage is done. And you won’t know who did the damage.

So our advice to you is to not use an open WiFi connection to send or receive sensitive information. To be safe, assume people can access any information you see or send over a public wireless network.

That’s the simple answer to this issue. If you want to really ensure your privacy and security, you can set up an SSH SOCKS proxy to encrypt your traffic. Or you could use extensions like the HTTPS Everywhere Firefox extension that forces popular sites to send data via HTTPS protocol, which encrypts data as it is being sent.

If you didn’t understand the paragraph above, stick to not using an open WiFi connection while using Facebook and its counterparts.

Treat your data with respect. Just as you wouldn’t leave your bankbook or your diary on your doorstep, you shouldn’t expose your data to the world at large.

The temptation that Firesheep offers is that it can turn anyone into a spy. People who would normally not consider doing anything devious or underhanded can now snoop and pry without risk. How many would succumb to the temptation? The fact that hundreds of thousands of people have downloaded Firesheep is an indication that a lot would. Or else it means that there are hundreds of thousands of criminals who would use it for their own gain. 

Either way, be aware that there are people ready and willing to check out your private information and act accordingly.

CollectionMine strongly urges people to consider their most valuable and private information as being under threat. Whether it is by hackers, by viruses, by disaster, by computer failure, your data is vulnerable unless you back it up.

Online data storage is the ideal solution. Your data is kept in a world-class data centre, safe from thieves, hackers, viruses, disaster and computer failure. It is fully accessible 24/7/365. It is worry-free and extremely affordable.

Check out CollectionMine’s offsite data backup software now, and ensure your irreplaceable and private information is kept safe and secure from prying eyes and harm.

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