I’ve posted before regarding browsing the web on a public wifi network like your local coffee shop or restaurant. I will repeat my message, this type of browsing is not secure, you don’t know who else is on the same network you are using. It is not hard for someone to view your sessions or info. (take for example firesheep) It allows anyone that uses firefox the ability to download a plug-in and see other wifi users facebook sessions.
So what are you suppose to do? To begin with, you should secure your connection to the internet. Securing your connection can be done a few ways. Some of the more practical methods are SSH tunneling or a VPN connection. These allow you to use an unsecured wifi network and send your traffic to a known secure network somewhere else.
If you are unsure what a SSH tunnel or a VPN is, you may have more trouble securing your connection. For the novice I suggest using a Free or Paid VPN service if your work does not offer one.
Here are two free VPN connections that I am aware of:
1. OPENVPN.net – http://www.openvpn.net/ SSL/TLS based VPN that you need to install software to use (windows or linux)
2. MacroVPN – http://www.macrovpn.com/
3. USA IP – http://www.usaip.eu/en/free_vpn.php
4. Projectloki – http://www.projectloki.com/
Paid VPN connections
1. AlwaysVPN – http://alwaysvpn.com/
2. Wifi-vpn – http://www.wifi-vpn.com/
3. AccessVPN – http://www.accessvpn.com/
I have not used any of these services but have seen them on a few top 5 lists. I use both SSH and VPN connections back to my home or my office to secure my connections.
I recommend using a PPTP client on your home router as a simple method to secure your connections. Read my article on how to setup a VPN on DDWRT.