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[vox-tech] Laptop WiFi Security
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[vox-tech] Laptop WiFi Security

I have two questions about WiFi security in laptops.  (I don't have a laptop 
that allows me to do much WiFi, but I'm interested in these issues anyway.)

If a person uses a WiFi connection at an airport, hotel, coffee house, etc. 
clearly the connection is not encrypted.  I have been told that if you use an 
open connection, someone can get into your hard drive.  That is, a hacker 
could read your files.  This leads me to ask two questions.

1)  One computer professional told me that the solution to the problem is to 
have firewall software on your laptop.  He recommends Zone Alarm for Windows, 
but my interest is Linux.  I know that SuSE comes with a firewall.  My first 
question is:  Is there a firewall package for Debian?

2)  The second question is whether there is *any* merit in the following idea 
I thought of.  Suppose you had a laptop  that had a major Windows partition, 
and a major Linux partition on it.  Suppose you also put a second very small 
Linux partition on it.  The small Linux partition would be used exclusively 
for e-mail and web surfing at open WiFi connections.  

Fstab would be configured on the small partition so that the major Linux 
partition could *not* be mounted.  But the fstab on the major partition could 
be configured so that the small Linux partition could be mounted.  So any 
e-mail or stuff downloaded through an open WiFi connection could be copied 
over to the main Linux partition when the latter was booted.

Would such a set up protect the files in the main Linux partition when the 
small partition was booted and being used with an open WiFi connection?  I 
suppose one problem with such a Baroque set up would be that the password you 
use for e-mail on the small Linux partition would still be subject to theft 
by a hacker.

So is there any value in this type of set up?

Thank you.

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