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I need to get out of this apartment and see other human beings. I'd like to go to the local coffee shop to do my server configuration through SSH. I might also be using FTP. Is this safe?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

SSH yes, FTP no. As a bonus, HTTP is only safe if you use it over HTTPS. You can use SCP or SFTP to transfer files securely to hosts which are already running SSH though.

Just don't use a 90's version of SSH and you will be fine.

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When you say 90's version of SSH, what do you mean? I'm currently using PuTTY to log in. – Nick Apr 3 '11 at 18:14
The latest version of PUTTY will be fine, provided that your server is also within the last ten years and a default SSH setup was used (if you don't know that it wasn't, then you are okay). Also, yes you will want to use SCP or a Windows SSH client that supports file transfers instead of FTP. I think Filezilla supports SFTP, so that should be sufficient. – Johnnie Odom Apr 3 '11 at 22:02
@Nick 90's as in "not released before the year 2000" :), as @johnnie said – coredump Apr 3 '11 at 22:12

to be extra safe, setup key based authentication between yourself and your server. It will not connect if there is a man in the middle of the transaction, giving you much more security.

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This is safer, but if there's a MITM attack in progress SSH will warn him about the remote host identification key changing even if he is using only password auth. – coredump Apr 3 '11 at 15:19

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