Secure ways of using WIFI hotspots / internet cafes

With the summer holidays approaching, I’m trying to understand the security issues when using public WIFI hotspots in Libraries/cafes/restaurants/airports/bars etc.

As far as I understand it if you connect to an “open” WIFI non encrypted connection then your PC is connected by its firewall but all the data you send and recieve may be read by computers which are in range. So passwords for logging into your FTP or your blogs backend (as well as any articles etc. you upload) can be read and may be used by others.

If the internet cafe gives you a password for their encrypted connection then the only people who can acces your data/passwords are other users with the password.

Is there any way to secure this data/information while using public WIFI so I can manage/update my site while traveling ?


use SSL for any connection you want secure.

This includes using https instead of http to login on your your blog.
and in place of FTP you should use SFTP or FTP with SSL/TLS.

You could also connect through a VPN

Thanks , I’ll look into both those options.
Presumably they’re both something I’m gonna have to organize with my hosting co.

For WiFi, you need to ensure it is an encrypted network. Other wise a man in the middle attack will be extremely effective.

Wi-Fi is ad hoc thus being imperative that it is encrypted. Else you are basically wasting your time if you think passwords or even visiting generic HTTPS websites (without you using Wi-Fi encryption) will properly protect you from a determined sniffer. The book ‘Thinking Web’ does briefly mention there is still vulnerability.

A true, tunneling VPN is really the only way to fly here. Just about anything else leaves you vulnerable to at least traffic sniffing from anyone else on the wifi access point. Unless you trust all sites to use SSL for all authentication details . . .

Personally, I just use a 4g air card. Don’t have to much around with horribly congested public wifi access points in any way shape or form.