OZLAN Technical Services

Dangers of FREE Public Wi-Fi

Public Free WiFi Hotspots are becoming very popular and often trendy for business’s to offer them. Be aware of the ongoing danger in using them and many of the common pitfalls that can trap you and pilfer you personal information.
As a rule I personally NEVER connect to public wifi hotspots, my mobile devices are always tethered to a private VPN network protecting me and my clients, personal information. A far better alternative to using public open wifi hotspots is to provide your own hotspot and these are becoming a much better alternative and affordable option for the road warrior.
For those that persist on using free public wifi hotspots, there are some simple rules to adhere to protect yourself and your information.
  • Turn off “File and Printer Sharing“.
  • Turn off all “Folder Sharing“.
  • Enable firewall, if it isn’t already.
  • Choose the correct wifi network (beware of false ones created by hackers). Its very common for hackers to create their own free hotspot mimicking the legitimate network offered by a business, particularly in airports. If unsure, ask the staff to verify the Network Name (SSID) or look for a poster or advertisement stating the SSID.
  • Use https wherever possible, or better still, connect via a VPN,
  • If using windows, make sure to select “Public Network” when joining.
  • Disable wifi when not in use.
  • Keep your system up to date (Windows Updates and all other software, in particular, Adobe products and Java).
  • Protect your passwords (On a Windows computer never use browser remembered passwords, these can be easily obtained from the registry).
  • Never do anything financial (paying bills, checking your bank balance or stock trading).
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, Be aware that you are NEVER secure (did you read the fine print?). The fine print most often claims to openly monitor all information passed through the public network and often openly claims to share this information with 3rd parties.

Reset Windows Password

To reset a forgotten administrator password, follow these steps:
Boot from Windows PE or Windows RE and access the command prompt.
Find the drive letter of the partition where Windows is installed. In Vista and Windows XP, it is usually C:, in Windows 7, it is D: in most cases because the first partition contains Startup Repair. To find the drive letter, type C: (or D:, respectively) and search for the Windows folder. Note that Windows PE (RE) usually resides on X:.
Type the following command (replace “c:” with the correct drive letter if Windows is not located on C:):
copy c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe c:\
This creates a copy of sethc.exe to restore later.
Type this command to replace sethc.exe with cmd.exe:
copy /y c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe
Reboot your computer and start the Windows installation where you forgot the administrator password.
After you see the logon screen, press the SHIFT key five times.
You should see a command prompt where you can enter the following command to reset the Windows password.
net user you_user_name new_password
If you don’t know your user name, just type net user to list the available user names. You can now log on with the new password.
I recommend that you replace sethc.exe with the copy you stored in the root folder of your system drive in step 3. For this, you have to boot up again with Windows PE or RE because you can’t replace system files while the Windows installation is online. Then you have to enter this command:
copy /y c:\sethc.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe

Choosing a Good Password

Creating a unique password helps stop someone from breaking into your accounts. Here are a few tips for creating a good password, and keeping it safe:
  • Be creative. Don’t use words that can be found in any dictionary.
  • Use at least eight characters.
  • Don’t use a password that you have used elsewhere.
  • Don’t use keyboard patterns (qwerty, asdf) or sequential numbers (1234).
  • Create an acronym. Don’t use a common one, like NASA or SCUBA. Combine it with numbers and punctuation marks.
  • Include punctuation marks and numbers. Mix uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Include similar looking substitutions, such as the number zero for the letter ‘O’ or $ or 5 for the letter ‘S’, 3 for the letter ‘E’, @ for the letter ‘A’ etc.
  • Don’t make your password all numbers, all uppercase letters, or all lowercase letters.
  • Don’t use repeating characters (aa11).
  • Don’t use a password that is listed anywhere as an example of how to pick a good password.

Picking a good security question and answer:
  • Choose a question only you know the answer to – make sure the question isn’t associated with your password.
  • Pick a question that can’t be answered through research (for example, avoid your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, your first or last name, your grandchild’s name, your social security number, your phone number, your pet’s name, etc.).
  • Make sure your answer is memorable, but not easy to guess. Use an answer that is a complete sentence for even more security.

How can I change my WebMail Password?

Login at: https://www.knzhosting.com/webmail
From this location you will be able to:
  • Change Password
  • Setup 'Auto Responders'
  • Configure Mail Client
  • Email Filtering
  • Email Trace

You will also be able to Enable/Disable the automatic loading of your chosen WebMail Interface.