Stay legit. Hackers are known to “create phony hot spots.” A name should pop up with the network to connect to. If not, be cautious.
Starbucks and other establishments offer public Wi-Fi that’s “relatively safe.”
Stay current. Be sure to continually update your computer’s operating system, applications such as Microsoft Word, and virus protection. You don’t have to be a techie; “it’s actually simple to do (requiring just a few mouse clicks in the right places) and usually free.”
Don’t surf too far from home. Even if a public network is legitimate, nothing is “as safe as a password-protected system” in your own home. Setting up a password is easy, and switching on the encryption function isn’t hard either.
Don’t be stupid. Don’t make purchases, check your bank account, or send e-mails that contain private information from public hot spots.
Source: Real Simple