How secure is free wi fi access on trains, hotels etc

Thinking about buying a netbook to use on long train journeys etc which provide free wi fi. But how secure are the wi fi networks?

I only know a little about wi fi networks. I have wifi at home which is secured with WPA encryption. Are the free networks unsecured? For instance if I login to a webmail account can others "capture" the login details?



they should be secured networks ...... only people on the train will be able to connect (using they key given (i guess thats what they do))

i wouldnt do banking etc on a public wifi but general web searching and ebay should be ok

i wouldnt use it for banking-but the hotels we have stayed in have had wired in the rooms and the connection from reception free-i felt a bit better about using that!

Original Poster

I would only use the online banking at home but if they manage you get your email details they could re-set your ebay password and possibly login to your Amazon account etc They could do a whole lot of damage.....

end of the day you can only make your laptop less of a target than others ! wpa is just to stop people accessing your network , you still have to protect your laptop regardless ! ie firewall , antivirus , antispyware etc

lets face it if a hacker wants to hack into your laptop they will ! also if it has bluetooth make sure its disabled !

If you use wireless internet at home you are just as much at risk, sureley??
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