WifihotspotPublic wireless access is available in so many different locations, from coffee shops and bookstores to libraries and hotels. It’s a huge convenience for business users, even casual users who need/want a connection away from home.

While it is a convenience, there are also a few safety issues at hand. But, the bright side is that there are steps you can take to ensure that your Internet browsing is safe no matter where you go.

Because the large majority of hot spots like what you’ll find at coffee shops aren’t secure, it means that what you send and receive over the Internet isn’t secure either. PCMag.com put together a list of four different ways that you can surf safely at Starbucks, but it’ll work anywhere you go.

Among the suggestions, don’t do your personal banking while your sipping your cup of joe at Starbucks.  It’s just not a good decision. The same goes for making purchases from your favorite online retailers.  It can wait until you’re home and on your own secure network.

Another suggestion that you may not have thought of before is to turn off file and print sharing.  By taking this small step, you will prevent someone from gaining access to your hard drive. And as always, a firewall is a great idea and can never hurt.

Wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? These suggestions are all basic and very simple, and if you follow them, you’ll be better prepared for safe Internet browsing in any of your favorite public places.