If you are running a wireless router at home, make sure you are using WPA or WPA2 to secure it.
Be extremely careful when connecting to an unsecure or unknown wireless network. Most security guys say to NEVER trust an unknown network, but sometimes that is your only option. If possible, always connect using a VPN client.
Just be aware of these risks when connecting to an unknown wireless network:
- You are now connecting to a device owned and operated by someone else. They can and are intercepting all of your traffic.
- They can redirect you to any page they want.
If you do connect to an unknown wireless network, never do anything sensitive like logging in to your bank account or updating your Facebook profile. When browsing, always try to use https: when entering website URLs. This is actually a great practice for all your browsing, because https: verifies the identity of the server you are connecting to and also encrypts the connection. Most modern sites support it now.
I use a plugin for my browser called HTTPS Everywhere. It automatically tries https: for you on every site you go to, so it eliminates guesswork.
Go here to find out more about HTTPS Everywhere.
Remember, always make sure your firewall is on before connecting. By exercising these small actions, you can browse safely on wireless networks.
Activate the Windows firewall: