How to stay protected from Firesheep Sidejacking

Although there are a lot of steps implemented in recent times to safeguard vulnerable sites from being used as a tool for Firesheep and Sidejacking, there still remains a lot of websites which are used by hackers and other attackers to grab hold of the data possessed by the users who access them. Public Wi-Fi hotspots and other low secure internet networks are acting as supportive features for Firesheep and Sidejacking. Virtual Private Network is the best method through which users would be able to protect their valuable data. VPNs operate based on tunnel based network system and all the data transmission that occur through this system would be protected via SSL protocols and so it is virtually impossible to break this system.

Apart from utilizing a VPN network to access the sites and perform other functions over the web, users should be aware of the usual security measures using which they would be able to add on to the standard security which they would obtain from a VPN server. Thus, there would be a peace of mind for the users. Although, VPNs provide high security, if the user takes steps to protect his or her data, then there would be a sense of satisfaction. Few of the additional security measures are as listed below.

Vulnerable sites

Internet users around the world would not be aware of the reality that, popular websites and the sites which they access on a daily basis are the ones which are prone to Firesheep and Sidejacking. Vulnerable site lists seem to grow in numbers daily and few of those vulnerable sites include, Google, Facebook, Windows, Yahoo, Twitter, Windows Live, Amazon, PayPal, WordPress, Basecamp, Evernote etc. All these websites cannot be avoided and they should be accessed for sure. VPN would provide complete security while accessing these high profile sites.

How is the security established via VPN?

As mentioned earlier, tunnel based network transmission is what users would utilize to access the sites when they subscribe for a VPN. Tunnel network would act as a multiple security level around the data or site accessed by the user. Bit encryption protocols such as SSTP, L2TP, IPSec, PPTP and OpenVPN would provide security to this tunnel network which is impossible to break.

Stay away from public Wi-Fi hotspots

Using VPN via public Wi-Fi hotspots would provide the security one would need, but it is always better to stay away from public Wi-Fi and free internet providers. These free services have been found to possess low level of security and this provides an opportunity for hackers, frauds, and snoopers etc. to hijack data. When users have no other option and there is a necessity to use the internet on an immediate basis, they could use a trustworthy Wi-Fi location. VPNs would offer the protection but, it is advisable to stay away from unreliable networks.

Secure LANs

LANs are very popular in schools, business centers, hotels etc. General misconception among people is that, Firesheep and Sidejacking attacks are only possible in case of Wi-Fi networks, but in practice, this kind of attacks can also be performed on LANs. Secured and encrypted LANs should be used rather than LANs which have no encryption. If the data traffic is unencrypted in the case of LANs, all the data a user transmits via this LAN can be decrypted by another user who uses the same LAN. It is impossible to contact the LAN network administrator to know whether proper security measures are in place. Thus, to avoid such a risk, it is always better to access internet through VPN.

Proper log off

Users who log on to their mails, user accounts, social friendly blogs etc. should log off completely and should make sure that, they have done that without flaws. Even while proper log off, there are chances that certain cookies might stay on forever and these cookies would be used for Firesheep and Sidejacking. Such a state is unavoidable, since certain cookies cannot be removed by the user since they might be present in the network used for data transmission and a tunnel based network provided by VPN would also help in protecting the data from these damages.

Personal internet security

This is another aspect which is talked about a lot by experts in this filed. People who have weak passwords seem to lose their data most often than not, when compared to users who have a strong password. Every single password should contain minimum one lower case alphabet, one upper case alphabet, one special character, one number etc. A secure 3G and private internet connection should be chosen. There are internet providers that offer high level of security to their users. These providers might charge higher than others, but it is worth paying for security.


Websites that get accessed through HTTPS protocols should be preferred over those which are accessed through HTTP. HTTP website protocols are prone to attacks. Full time SSL is another technique to stay away from trouble, but even that has certain hiccups, which can only be rectified using a VPN. Cookies that get released through HTTP are vulnerable. In a SSL network, if the person is trying to access a HTTP website, cookies possessed by them would be released on to the HTTP site before going on to the SSL. Most of the sites have minimal or zero control over cookie release.

Types of VPN Protocols

VPN to stay secure

All the above mentioned factors might help the user in staying on top of the risks that might come their way and keep their heads up. Only a virtual private network would offer a complete security package for the user to stay away from Firesheep and Sidejacking. Following are a few VPN services that can be of help to you:

Rank Provider Starting Price Money Back Visit Provider
1 ExpressVPN $6.67 /Month 30 Days visit expressvpn
2 Hidemyass $6.55/ Month 30 Days visit expressvpn
3 iPVanish $10.00/Month 7 Days visit ipvanish
4 StrongVPN $21/ 3 Months 7 Days visit strongvpn
5 VyprVPN $14.95/Month 7 Days visit vyprvpn
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