4. If your workplace has a virtual private network, you can use this to send encrypted data securely over the internet. In XP’s Control Panel, select Network and Internet Connections (or Network and Sharing Center in Vista), ‘Create a new connection’, ‘Connect to a workplace’, then follow the prompts.
5. Make sure you’ve got a software firewall in place and ramp up the security level at a public Wi-Fi spot. Choose Start, Control Panel, Windows Firewall. Click Change Settings and tick ‘Block all incoming connections’. Installing a second firewall, such as Comodo’s Firewall Pro, is a good idea (tinyurl.com/ywho4q).
6. When you join an unfamiliar Wi-Fi network, triple-check that it’s harmless. Unscrupulous hackers often create fake Wi-Fi connections in hotels or airports in the hope that people will be fooled into joining them. Sometimes called ‘evil twins’, these ad-hoc networks can capture information sent over the web.