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Can Hotels Track Your Web Surfing


tanman4u
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I was watching CSI or [email protected], or somesuch crime show last night, and the TV detective told one of his underlings to "check the hotel web and see what sites this guy's been logging onto" (or words thereof). Now I don't much care if the hotel in which I'm staying knows I'm surfing Adam4Adam or Manhunt or Daddys or whatever, but now I am wondering if this is possible. Can a hotel monitor the sites you're visiting? Can an ISP (mine at home is a small local broadband provider) track what I'm looking at?

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>I was watching CSI or [email protected], or somesuch crime show last night,

>and the TV detective told one of his underlings to "check

>the hotel web and see what sites this guy's been logging

>onto" (or words thereof). Now I don't much care if the

>hotel in which I'm staying knows I'm surfing Adam4Adam or

>Manhunt or Daddys or whatever, but now I am wondering if this

>is possible. Can a hotel monitor the sites you're visiting?

>Can an ISP (mine at home is a small local broadband provider)

>track what I'm looking at?

 

 

 

unless you know what you are doing, its safe to assume wherever you go, there is no privacy.

 

Especially at hotels, the average idiot can see what and where you are and have been at any given time on their internet.

 

Think about it. IF they couldnt, then people could for 200$ have internet with which they could do all sorts of ungodly things on.

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Guest josephga

yup they can. this is how cops have arrested some for murder. they have gone on people computers and found out that they had visted info on poisons and such

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And so can your employer.

 

That's why it's best not to surf porn or other such sites on the company laptop or network.

 

I rarely use hotel wireless networks. My work requires that I access databases with credit card data. I always use a hard wired connection for this for the slightly better security.

 

Even at home I dont' trust Comcast all that much either. x(

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Most employers are required by law to have an employee privacy policy for internet access and e-mail, and to tell you about it. Many require you to sign an acknowledgment when you begin employment, and the smart ones ask you to re-sign annually.

 

Hotel systems I don't worry about so much. Mostly they log the URLs you visit for statistics and billing and support issues. There's no way in hell they have the storage space to log every keystroke and mouse click sent across the wire -- unless a wiretap is in progress.

 

And it's easy enough to set up a VPN tunnel that is encrypted so they can see where you went but not what you did when you got there.

 

I wouldn't worry much about Comcast. Their tier-1 support is utterly impotent, but their corporate IT has their ducks in a row on the big picture. They're one of the ISPs that told Homeland Security to stuff it when they requested web surfing data. Comcast properly told them to come back with a subpoena which never materialized.

 

(A friend is a mucky-muck in Comcast IT and we've talked about this at length.)

 

There are reasons to be careful, but there are also reasons to go ahead and do your daily business where you need to do it.

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Guest zipperzone

That is really scary - there should be some softwear a user can install that tells him when his usage is being monitored and softwear that will block the spy softwear. Maybe there is???

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You're confusing a couple of different things.

 

If you are connected to the internet, your surfing *IS* being logged. If you visit a website, your IP address is likely being logged. Website owners use their server logs for making billing, advertising, and hardware upgrade decisions. Your ISP also logs your activity for many of the same reasons, as well as to cover their asses legally.

 

You can avoid it all by not connecting to the internet. It's really the only way. This stuff happens on the servers you use to connect and on the servers that host the pages you visit. It does not happen on your PC so there's nothing you can do about it.

 

This is not spyware, and it's not the parental controls software described on that link. Don't confuse those.

 

Spyware runs on your PC (installed by you, albeit unwittingly) and yes there are ways to block it. There's an entire cottage industry to do that, and sadly some of the purported "blockers" are themselves spyware.

 

Spyware has nothing to do with server logs.

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