By Robert Gorby, AVG

With the summer holiday season underway, many of you will be packing your laptops so you can stay in touch with business whilst away. Using Wi-Fi connections at airports to check emails and finish some last minute work before departure is very common and convenient.

Unfortunately free wireless public networks are ripe for exploitation by hackers. Setting up fake "free" Wi-Fi hotspots in public places is alarmingly easy to do, and connecting to one of these could put your sensitive business and personal information at risk.

So here are a few pointers to help keep you safe when using public Wi-Fi connections on your travels:

Before connecting to a network, look around and locate a sign that advertises the official name of the legitimate network you want to connect to.

Don't activate your wireless connection if you're not planning to connect to the Web. Not only will this protect you from intrusion, it'll also save your battery life.

• Turn off shared folders. If you unwittingly connect to a malicious network, a hacker could easily transfer malicious spyware onto your laptop.

• Be very careful what information you share in public locations. Even seemingly innocuous logins to Web-mail accounts could give hackers access to get into your more important data

• Ensure that your security software is always up to date.

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