You probably already knew that wireless network security isn't perfect. If you travel anywhere and use wifi anyplace other than your own home network (with all of the proper security elements in place), you need to take a look at this Wikipedia Article on the topic.
What does this mean to the non geek? Enter Firesheep, a FREE Firefox plugin that will allow anyone on an open wifi network to do some damage to anyone else on the same network silly enough to be surfing without some form of protection. Does Firesheep do anything new? No, it just proves how stinking easy it is to do some real damage on an open wifi connection.
What do I do about the whole issue? I use WiTopia.net and their Personal VPN service. It's just $40 a year and works on my laptop, iPad and iPhone.
A cheaper (free) option is Hotspot Shield. It's a free (and reported Spyware/Adware free) program that works on both the Mac and PC. It's provides a VPN without cost, but you do “pay” for it with a series of ads that they embed over your browser, etc. It could be worse, and you can't beat the price – but the big issue is the face that it doesn't provide an iPad, iPhone, or other portable device option.
Below is a video called “Firesheep And Wifi Security – What To Do And How To Protect Yourself” that I put together for eMarketing Vids. It puts pictures to the concepts. Click through if you can't see the embed below.
What are you doing about Firesheep and/or Wifi security? I'd love your thoughts below.