Tips on how to use public Wi-Fi safely

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Are you someone who travels often and regularly make use of public Wi-Fi? Noting that using an open public Wi-Fi is dangerous business, Larry Seltzer over at BYTE outlined a number of useful tips in a commentary on how users can stay safe when accessing the Internet this way.

In a nutshell, an "open" Wi-Fi network without the lock icon is unencrypted, and is open for all to see in the absence of measures taken to encrypt transmitted data.

Dangers include session hijacking and stolen passwords. Methods to encrypt data over an open Wi-Fi network include the use of a virtual private network connection or by visiting only SSL-protected websites by prefixing HTTPS before the URL.

When it comes to encrypted networks, WEP is not ideal because it is easily broken and does not support sessions.

WPA2 is preferred over WPA as it offers stronger security. Seltzer noted. "If you have the option, you should use an encrypted network. In the alternative, if you use an open, unencrypted network, use a virtual private network to protect your communications. Failing even that, be sure to use only HTTPS sessions."

For more:
- check out this article at InformationWeek

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