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Windows Firewall settings for public usage:

Windows Firewall can protect your wireless network from external attacks if it's properly configured. If you frequently use public hotspots, you should make sure that Windows Firewall is not only enabled, but also that its Exceptions feature is temporarily disabled for communication programs like Windows Messenger. This prevents virus attacks from the computers of other people at the hotspot.

To disable the Exceptions feature:

  1. Use the Start menu to open Control Panel and double-click on the Security Center icon.
  2. Click on the Windows Firewall link to open the Windows Firewall dialog box.
  3. Select the Don't Allow Exceptions check box, as shown in Figure E, and then click OK to close the dialog box.
Disabling the Exceptions feature is a good way to block access to your computer when you're using a public hotspot.