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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:47 AM        Free wireless, security question
It turns out the house where I'm staying has no Internet connection because the guy's cheap, but I can leech some unidentified unsecured wireless connection (it's labeled "default") at intermittently high speeds while sitting in my room. I'm just wondering what I need to do to make sure my computer is safe.

I have Avast Anti-Virus Home Edition and Spybot Resident active at all times, and I have the option of turning on part or all of Windows Vista's vast and sometimes obnoxious array of security measures. I have NoScript for Firefox and have to manually approve domain names that are allowed to run scripts or give me cookies. I use Gmail on the web exclusively so no e-mail ever hits my hard drive. Could someone tell me what is the minimum amount of protection required while using the Internet over an unsecured wireless connection? I'm not worried about leaking sensitive data, just about something getting into my computer without me knowing about it.

I like to think I'm pretty competent about these things, so to save performance, I want to leave off the extra bits that just mitigate user error. If I click the button that secretly means "install virus now," I should just have known better.

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