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COMPUTER SECURITY AND THE EVIL TWINS

Source: NBC30.com

Posted on December 6, 2006

      When you set up your computer at a nearby coffee shop and log on to what you think is their wireless network, you could have an evil twin nearby who is following every move you're making online and without actually looking over your shoulder.

      There are wireless Internet connections, or hot spots, popping up everywhere - from coffee shops to apartment buildings to downtown parks.

      But there are evil twins that may make it seem like you're logging on to a regular hot spot, but instead you're passing through the "twins" computer so that they can capture all your personal information.

      At the Moka Cafe in New Haven, they offer wireless to customers and many of them have never heard of the "evil twin."

      Jamie Stafslien is a computer expert with Geeks On Call.

      "Someon could easily watch exactly what you're doing and you would never know it," Stafslien said.

      There are, however, some things that you can do to protect yourself.

      First, your laptop seeks out and connects to the nearest hot spot by default, so you should turn that setting off.

      Second, double check the name of the hot spot with the business.

      Third, look for the pad lock symbol which usually indicates a secure network and a secure Web site.

      The attorney general for Connecticut said that his office has not received any complaints of "evil twins." But the problem with this, like many other identity theft crimes, is that you may not realize it until it is far too late.

      Experts say that the best advice is to avoid sending personal information at a public hot spot.




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