I am using my laptop wireless to connect to the internet.

I am going to sites where I am putting in social security numbers and bank account numbers.

Is it possible, people can see this information?

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.. anything is possible.

are the websites you are entering your private information secured using valid CA SSL certificates?

is your wireless connection private or public? (Home, Work, Public)

Do you have any antivirus, firewall software?

Do you install all windows and IE security updates?

there are alot of ways people could get your information, but if i personally dont enter my bank information into a website.

if im entering a credit card, or social security i normally only do it on my home network, behind my firewall and antivirus, and the site im entering the information must be using a valid SSL certificate, no self signed crap.

Exactly what Jeff said, couldn't have said it better myself. I just want to add to, or stress the fact about ONLY entering in sensitive data behind your secure network.
If you are at Starbucks or Burger King and you are using their free wifi absolutely do not access anything sensitive, whether the site uses SSL or not. It is really not that hard to sniff SSL traffic over an unsecured network. The key really is just connect to the internet through something secure.

On your wireless router at home make sure to set the encryption to WPA2 and make sure to come up with a very strong passphrase. If you use your phone number as a passphrase then it can probably be hacked within minutes. Use odd words and mix match letters and numbers. This is good practice for each and every password you use. Also don't use the same password for everything.
Your Email account password is almost more important than your online banking password. A lot of people archive their email's and many of those emails very well may contain a lot of juicy information which can be used to compromise ones security. Also keep ALL of your software up-to-date. So many vulnerabilities in security come from an exploit in Java, or IE, even quicktime you want to keep updated. Hope that helps you some...

commented: good addition +0

The websites start with https://

I chose public network when I was setting up the computer. For now, I have only used the computer at my home.

I have McAfee Security Center. The firewall is on. It has Spyware and Virus Protection.

I am using Windows 7. I check for updates for Windows and install important and recommended updates.

With the provided information, can you tell if people can see what I am doing.

good addition

you should be fine if u r on your home network. but nothing is 100% secure

Still need to know about your Wireless security. Are you using a wireless router at home? If so what kind of security is it using? Sounds like you are fairly secure from any attacks over WWW.

Also, type your passphrase into this password checker:

If it says you are very strong then you are good. Unless you are using WEP. WEP can be decrypted (cracked) easily no matter how strong your password is.

So it sounds like you have nothing to worry about...

Just add WPA2 security on router w/ a STRONG passphrase and you should be just fine
And yes, NOTHING is %100 secure.


Ditch Mcafee all together. Get ESET Nod32. Turn on Windows Firewall.
If you want to get serious with a firewall get Comodo. Get a router with a firewall built in for extra security.
I could go gone forever on what you can do to be MORE secure, but I feel like it gets to a point where its such a hassle it may not be worth it. *bites tongue* :)

Thank you for all the valuable information.

I am using a wireless router at my home. I am using WEP.

If someone cracked WEP, can I tell?

i dont know if you would be able to tell if someone cracked it
but i can tell you WEP is very easily cracked. there are videos on youtube that walk you through the process

you need to get on your router and change the security key to WPA2.

ill make one addition to this thread..

if you are scared to death about your personal information being stolen on the computer, the best thing you can do is dont use it on the computer. there is always a risk - even if it makes it to the other side perfectly fine, think about how many times major companies have sent out letters and emails about there database being compromised.

You probably would never even know they cracked your router unless you monitor it and read the logs and stuff. No problem though, easily negated via WPA2 security with a strong passphrase. WPA2 is actually EASIER to break into though unless you have a strong passphrase. The tools used to break into WPA2 are simply guessing the password using a predefined dictionary of words (thousands of guesses per second though). So if you have something like this as your password: "I4h@$b7n-42Z" then you are very secure. But that is insane to remember something like that so just throw in a couple of numbers or symbols along with an obscure word or two and it should be secure enough. Essentially; the longer and more obscure, the more secure.

If someone cracked WEP, can I tell?

No, that can be done totally invisible, and they don't have to enter your router at any time to do that, or maybe continue to monitor your data traffic.

You need to change the wifi encryption to (at least) WPA, and use a good strong pass phrase.

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