I have my google account setup on my phone and tablet. If I go to some place which has free WiFi access like an airport, or a bus, or even starbucks, how safe is it to use their WiFi service? Will they in any way be able to gain access to my google account or any account I have setup on my phone or tablet.
closed as off topic by Karan, Dave M, Siim K, Canadian Luke, wizlog Feb 19 '13 at 19:56
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The simple answer is that it is very difficult to guarantee safety on a public wireless network, as everything you send can be received by an attacker.
The thing you can't confirm is how secure the wireless access point is - an attacker could have control over it, which means the wireless encryption is not protecting you.
So you should really use a VPN for anything sensitive or valuable, so you have an encrypted tunnel to an endpoint not attackable at your location.
And if you are working with really sensitive information - just do not use any public wireless network.
Know the risks and decide. Are your bank account contents valuable to you? If so, you may not want to do online banking on a public wireless network anyway.
There are loads of questions on this topic over on Security SE, so if you want more information please have a look.
I suggest you read the article here. there are some useful steps how to stay safe on public WiFi.
Try out Witopia it is a software which will anonymize you online as well as encrypt your data across untrusted networks.
Also Google offers 2-step verification for their accounts, read here. After you log in to your Google Account with your email and password Google will send you a code via text or voice call on your smartphone device. After you put that code you will be logged in to your Google Account. With 2-step verification it is more difficult for someone to log in to your account because they must obtain your smartphone device too. If the Attacker somehow manages to get access to your account he will be able to use it for a short period of time, that is till you log out because than the code expires. The 2-step verification adds another layer of security to your account. It won't offer 100% security but with this additional option the password is not the only information the attacker needs to access your account information.
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It should be safe under the following conditions:
Please note that any traffic you send unencrypted (and outside of https) will be visible to any attackers monitoring the network.
Also, if your browser shows any certificate errors at all, DO NOT PROCEED.