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When using Wi-Fi hot spots, don't throw caution to the wind.

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This story appears in the July 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

hot spots are a great convenience for traveling entrepreneurs and their employees. But it's up to you to make sure your data is safe when you're signing on from distant locales. has several basic elements. Equipping yourself and your mobile employees with antivirus, firewall, message and VPN software is optimal.

If you can't afford VPN capabilities, a new option is available from third-party provider HotSpotVPN (www.hotspotvpn.com), which will encrypt and cloak your activity for only $8.88 per month, per user. That can tide you over until you set up VPN tunnels of your own or if your employees only occasionally make use of Wi-Fi hot spots.

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