Wireless hotspots are changing the way people work. These wireless local area networks (LANs) provide high speed Internet access in public locations—as well as at home—and require nothing more than a notebook PC with a wireless card. From coffeehouses to restaurants, airports to hotel lobbies, hotspots are ubiquitous. They are the de facto connection method for travelers and remote workers to access the Internet, their e-mail, and even their corporate networks.
Hotspots range from paid services, such as T-Mobile or Boingo, to free connections at your local coffee shop or library. But they all have one thing in common: These are all open networks that are vulnerable to security breaches. And that means it's up to you to protect the data on your PC. Here are a few tips to make working in public locations more secure.