Security when browsing on a public network

Shmu26

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What security risks do I face if I browse the internet on a public network with a laptop running the desktop linux distro of my choice? Let's say I am in a hotel, for instance, and I want to log on to my Gmail account from my laptop. What are the risks and how to mitigate them?
I use my own bookmarks and password manager. So I am not so worried about phishing attacks.
And HTTPS is used by Gmail and financial sites, so data is encrypted.
AFAIK the attacker would need to get inside the browser in order to harvest login credentials. This typically is done by means of malware. Is this a realistic threat for desktop linux?
I am not so concerned about privacy issues per se. I don't really care if the ISP or someone else knows what URLs I accessed. I am focusing here on security issues such as stolen login credentials.

I hear people talking about secure DNS services and VPNs but it is not clear to me how this would help.
 
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KGIII

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Not a whole lot of risk there.

A DNS would hide your queries, when your computer looks up an address. A VPN would provide a tunnel so that your packets can't be inspected or see where they're routed. Both of those would increase privacy but not really add anything security-wise.

The same rules apply as apply when you're home, except at home you can (usually) trust the other devices on your LAN.

The hotel's routing could be basic and also configure a LAN which could provide a vector, but don't let guests login to your device and use a complicated password. If you're letting people login to your device with SSH, use a key and not a password. You could also just use a firewall and only allow certain ports access. Most hotels that I've visited no longer also have y'all on a LAN and haven't for a decade and a half. You'll find that at a small bed and breakfast, where IT is covered by 'my cousin's brother who understands this stuff.'
 

Shmu26

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Not a whole lot of risk there.

A DNS would hide your queries, when your computer looks up an address. A VPN would provide a tunnel so that your packets can't be inspected or see where they're routed. Both of those would increase privacy but not really add anything security-wise.

The same rules apply as apply when you're home, except at home you can (usually) trust the other devices on your LAN.

The hotel's routing could be basic and also configure a LAN which could provide a vector, but don't let guests login to your device and use a complicated password. If you're letting people login to your device with SSH, use a key and not a password. You could also just use a firewall and only allow certain ports access. Most hotels that I've visited no longer also have y'all on a LAN and haven't for a decade and a half. You'll find that at a small bed and breakfast, where IT is covered by 'my cousin's brother who understands this stuff.'
A year and a half ago I stayed in the guest room of a senior living complex and at the desk they gave me a password and the name of the network.
How does internet work at a normal hotel?
 

brickwizard

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How does internet work at a normal hotel?
I have traveled extensively around Europe over the years, A lot depends of their set up as KGIII intermated, some will just give you a common password, some will give you a dedecated short life password generated by the system and valid for the period of your stay, and others when you open your browser you will get the hotel facepage with a sign in link requiring you to enter your e-mail address and a password [make sure it is NOT one of your normal ones, or even similar], if your lucky you may get a network port in your room,
You are either the strongest security you have, or you are the weakest link, take all the precautions you would normally plus a few extras [think twice before opening links and agreeing to cookies etc on unfamiliar sites] I may have been lucky but up to now ,since using Linux I haven't had any noticeable attacks .

Bwiz
 

KGIII

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How does internet work at a normal hotel?
They function as access points and not as routers. They give you an internal IP address, but there's no LAN on the network guests use.
 
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