Security using hotel/public access wifi

  Carafaraday 09:09 31 Jul 2009

What are the best things to do in order to protect security when using public access wifi - hotels, airports etc?
I have XP, AVG anti-virus, Zonealarm firewall. Is there anything I can do to help keep my laptop more secure?
Any suggestions would be most welcome.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:16 31 Jul 2009
  Carafaraday 18:22 31 Jul 2009

I did try and Google for information but without much success so thank you. I'll leave this open for a while in case anyone has any personal tips to add.

  woodchip 18:26 31 Jul 2009

I only used Avast when I connected to a Hotspot in Wales. Not had no problems it was at big Mc

  Carafaraday 18:40 31 Jul 2009

Thanks, Woodchip, that's reassuring. I'm not sure whether I'm just being paranoid but am hoping to buy a netbook to take to Italy in the autumn.
I've disabled printer and file sharing, and have zone alarm and AVG (both free versions). Do you think that's sufficient? I don't intend to do any internet banking or shopping - just send some emails and look at Google maps probably!

  woodchip 19:06 31 Jul 2009

I said Avast is the free version that I use. and I was on a Forum that I post to other than this one, uploaded some pictures checked mail etc. Danger lies in when you start surfing allover the net. As to hackers how would they know unless they sit waiting for you to come in, and start up computer. Danger is same as at home, when you start using the Net File Sharing etc are wort things, as is opening Attachment to mail that you do not know

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:06 31 Jul 2009

With your protection on should be OK from virus and malware however as the wireless signal is unlikely to be encrypted I would still fight shy of using online banking etc. on a public network or machine.

  Carafaraday 20:11 31 Jul 2009

As always you have both been very helpful and reassuring. I'll leave this open overnight just in case anyone has anything to add.
Thanks again woodchip and Fruit Bat.

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