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View Poll Results: Do you use hotel or other wifi options while traveling?
Yes, I use free wifi where ever I am to logon to banking and brokerage sites 30 34.88%
I only use hotel wifi to log on to bank and brokerage accounts domestically 8 9.30%
Nope, never logon if outside my home 48 55.81%
Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-27-2019, 09:29 AM   #21
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My concern is with my phone or tablet getting stolen. That is uncharted territory even with fancy authentication.
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Old 10-27-2019, 09:34 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
My concern is with my phone or tablet getting stolen. That is uncharted territory even with fancy authentication.
Find phone/tablet - remote wipe - done.

This is available even for non-Apple devices.

However - if you have touch or Face ID set up, you are still protected.
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Old 10-27-2019, 09:46 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
Find phone/tablet - remote wipe - done.

This is available even for non-Apple devices.

However - if you have touch or Face ID set up, you are still protected.
Yup. That's what the advertising says and I'm sure the boffins believe it. In roughly 50 years in the technology business I have never seen any software that did not work exactly like what the advertising claimed. Do you believe that?

YMMV of course.
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:21 AM   #24
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Didn't vote.

I NEVER EVER use public WIFI for anything. Not since my email was hacked 7 years ago while using the public WIFI at a cancer treatment center while under going chemo. Embarrassing emails were sent to all my personal and business contacts. No financial impact but it sure made an impression on me.

I try to only use our secured WIFI at home. If access away from home is needed, I use my phone directly or as a hotspot.
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:29 AM   #25
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Yup. That's what the advertising says and I'm sure the boffins believe it. In roughly 50 years in the technology business I have never seen any software that did not work exactly like what the advertising claimed. Do you believe that?

YMMV of course.
Why base such a decision on advertising? That seems silly. How about basing it on the tech specs and security analysis?

1 - VPN's will tunnel you securely through any malicious or insecure WiFi
2 - Just use your cell phone connection. Also secure. Also can use a VPN if you are paranoid.
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:42 AM   #26
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I will avoid hotel wifi for sensitive data like bank accounts, but I'll log on via my cellular connection. Since there's no choice for that option, I didn't vote.
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:48 AM   #27
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Can't vote as I only use cellular date to do mobil baking when away from home. Would never use a hotel wifi for banking.
+1
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:55 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
Why base such a decision on advertising? That seems silly. How about basing it on the tech specs and security analysis?

1 - VPN's will tunnel you securely through any malicious or insecure WiFi
2 - Just use your cell phone connection. Also secure. Also can use a VPN if you are paranoid.
Well, in risk management the first thing you do is to identify the event's impact and its probability. High/low in this case IMO. The next thing you look at is cost to mitigate. Zero, in my case.

I really have no reason to put any financial stuff on my phone. The most we are out of the country is about three weeks twice a year. During that time all my autopays and autodeposits at Schwab take care of things. I am a long term investor so I have zero need to access investment accounts. In the near-zero probability event of an emergency I can call my Schwab guy on the phone for help or to give instructions.

Re "security analysis" really that is a joke. First, what do those words even mean when we're talking about tens or hundreds of thousands of lines of code? Presumably Microsoft does "security analysis" and still we get an overwhelming stream of patches from them. And ... who watches the watchers?

It's kind of like religion. If your faith in this stuff makes you happy, I am happy for you. But that doesn't make me a believer.
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:03 AM   #29
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My answer does not fit within any of the three categories...I do not use free wifi whereever I am to access banking sites, and I do not use hotel wifi to access banking sites domestically... but it is not true that I "never" logon outside of my home because I also log in from work, and I sometimes log in using wifi from someone else's house whom I trust. I also occasionally log in using the internet access provided by my phone provider when outside of wifi coverage.

I have two factor authentication set up for my banking and brokerage accounts and I would not feel comfortable accessing them away from home without it.
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:57 AM   #30
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It's complicated.

I avoid using unprotected public WiFi when I easily can but I would use it if I wanted information and no other mechanism were available. My use of unprotected public WiFi only extends to banks' credit card apps. The banks have, I think, more to lose than I have with credit card fraud.

But, as a rule, I combine any public WiFi with a VPN to my home router. Occasionally, public networks (especially airports, it seems) make the VPN unreliable and I'll use a bare connection.

While traveling the financial accounts that are of most acute interest to me are my credit card accounts. I want to know about specious charges ASAP. I use the company app almost daily (usually with VPN) and I have text alerts active for any charges. When an inappropriate charge appears I can usually dispute it very quickly.

I occasionally get cash from an ATM while traveling outside the US. I am doing this less often and find that money changers (except, possibly, at airports) may now offer better deals than ATMs. (I know I should go to the trouble of setting up a bank account that pays the fees but I haven't done that. I only use cash when I can't use a card. It has been easy to hide some $100s for money exchange and the cost has been reasonable when I avoid tourist locations.) I don't use my ATM card for any other purpose. I do monitor the transactions but avoid using the bank's app without a VPN.

While traveling I do check up on investment accounts but only when I have both a VPN connection and can use remote desktop from my iPad to my home PC. I use Moneydance to manage the data downloads. This seems to be nearly as safe as sitting at my home PC (which is not entirely safe, of course).

I deactivate my Verizon cellular data connection and roaming when I travel. Even their $10 per day bargain rate is ridiculous. I do keep WiFi calling active. Recently, in South America, I was able to easily pick up "chips" that provide a local phone number, gigabytes of cellular data, and free Whatsapp use over several weeks for less than $10 total. (We are paying way too much for our cell phone use in the US!) A cellular connection is presumably more secure than WiFi but I don't always have anything but WiFi when outside the US.
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:15 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by mrfeh View Post
Without getting into technical details, if you are using a browser, the connection between your device and the server is encrypted from end-to-end. The perceived security of the hotel wifi should not factor into this decision.

....
True, however they can see exactly what site you connect to prior to the https handshake. This makes man in the middle attacks possible.

A talented hacker could play man in the middle, or even spoof the hotel wifi so you are connected to the wrong SSID. Either situation would mean you give them your username and password.

That's why I use a VPN. (better to paranoid than poor )
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:19 PM   #32
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Can't vote as I only use cellular data to do mobile banking when away from home. Would never use a hotel wifi for banking.
+1
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:19 PM   #33
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My FIs use 2FA which gets invoked on any unknown IP address. So Yes. Always https.

I also check my CC account that has zero FX for fraudulent charges. I have caught those often when travelling.
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:30 PM   #34
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Well, in risk management the first thing you do is to identify the event's impact and its probability. High/low in this case IMO. The next thing you look at is cost to mitigate. Zero, in my case.

I really have no reason to put any financial stuff on my phone. The most we are out of the country is about three weeks twice a year. During that time all my autopays and autodeposits at Schwab take care of things. I am a long term investor so I have zero need to access investment accounts. In the near-zero probability event of an emergency I can call my Schwab guy on the phone for help or to give instructions.

Re "security analysis" really that is a joke. First, what do those words even mean when we're talking about tens or hundreds of thousands of lines of code? Presumably Microsoft does "security analysis" and still we get an overwhelming stream of patches from them. And ... who watches the watchers?

It's kind of like religion. If your faith in this stuff makes you happy, I am happy for you. But that doesn't make me a believer.
Ya know, you do you. 'nuff said
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Old 10-27-2019, 01:30 PM   #35
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Can't vote as I only use cellular date to do mobil baking when away from home. Would never use a hotel wifi for banking.
Yep, this. Public/Hotel WiFi is perfectly fine until it isn't. And it is shockingly easy to sniff out userid/passwords over WiFi.

And as others have said, use 2 factor auth. You can solve 99% of the problems that way.
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:07 PM   #36
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I use my data only.
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:24 PM   #37
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... This isn't about blind faith or religion, it's just common sense and keeping up with technology as it changes.
As you like. I have no interest in discussing with someone who has to have the last word. So have it.
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Old 10-27-2019, 04:45 PM   #38
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As you like. I have no interest in discussing with someone who has to have the last word. So have it.
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Old 10-27-2019, 05:47 PM   #39
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I use cell not sketchy public wifi. I also have a vpn to use if i want a belt and suspenders
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Old 10-27-2019, 05:56 PM   #40
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Didn't vote.

I NEVER EVER use public WIFI for anything. Not since my email was hacked 7 years ago while using the public WIFI at a cancer treatment center while under going chemo. Embarrassing emails were sent to all my personal and business contacts. No financial impact but it sure made an impression on me.

I try to only use our secured WIFI at home. If access away from home is needed, I use my phone directly or as a hotspot.
I don't understand this. If you got embarrassing emails it just means someone found your email address. Maybe somebody you email to was hacked and a person grabbed all their contacts!? That's pretty common and more likely then the scenario you propose in my humble opinion. I think you might be making life more difficult for yourself without reason.
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