Hi, I'm posting to ask if there's any way to keep my notebook PC safe from others on the same home wireless network. I have roommates who are NOT trustworthy and would do this. I disabled file sharing, set the wireless connection to Public, and had GeekSquad scan for keylogging programs. Are there other ways for people to intercept? I just installed a free VPN so I hope that might help. How can I be as secure as possible?
Thanks for your question Qathe.
A personal Firewall would help immensely. The standard Windows Firewall only monitors some inbound traffic. It can be configured to do more but it is'nt easy to work with. An aftermarket Firewall such as ZoneAlarm or Commodo will protect you from virtually all inbound and outbound access if you set them up to ask for permission before allowing any access. http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads34.html MajorGeeks has a good selection of Firewalls that have all been tested by them. You then allow or deny access permanently on a case by case basis. It's a pain in the Keester at the beginning but levels of rather quickly.
What VPN did you install and why? A VPN can provide a secure tunnel between your computer and a VPN Server but it will not protect your local wifi connection any better then the WPA found in most Routers. Also, if the VPN is not connected to a server, it isn't doing anything at all.
Whoever has administrative rights to the wireless access point (AP) *can* sniff packets. Some AP's permit this.
I know it's not cheap, but if these fellows are that untrustworthy, you might want to look into a cellular data adapter or access point.
It's up to you how much risk you're willing to take, but that's what I'd do: find an alternative.