A few weeks ago I wrote out the perils of using an open wi-fi network at a coffee shop. A readily available Firefox extension allows other network users to literally hijack your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Not only should you lock your work and home wireless, you should also download a new extension that will help secure coffee shop browsing.
Lock it down with a password
If you use a wireless router at your office make sure it is password protected. Most routers come with decent instructions on how to setup a password. If you cannot figure it out, ask another lawyer, a friend, or even call the Geek Squad from Best Buy.
When choosing a password, please choose something tricker than the name of your firm; otherwise you are right back at square one.
If you are especially paranoid about wireless security, you can also use old-fashioned ethernet cables to connect to the internet, which avoids the wireless conundrum altogether.
Install Blacksheep to help secure your laptop
The easiest way to avoid getting hacked on the coffee shop’s open wireless network is not use the network. That aside, you can get an extension that will help detect when someone is attempting to hack your social media accounts.
Firesheep is the Firefox extension that allows a user to easily hijack your Twitter or Facebook account on an open wireless network. Thankfully, a new Firefox extension called Blacksheep can detect when Firesheep is in use. Blacksheep does not actually detect Firesheep, but it can detect typical Firesheep requests to websites—which can be just as effective.
Blacksheep, like Firesheep, is free and is also an extension for Firefox browsers.