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The best option while using public wifi is to use a VPN for a secure connection. Well, I guess that the real "best best" option would be not to use public wifi, but let's be realistic.
There was an article a few days ago that I ran across that reviewed two examples of software that address WiFi security concerns. I haven't used either of them, so I can't personally vouch for how well they work, but you might want to take a look at the article and see if you are interested in trying them out. I didn't re-read the article, but if I recall correctly, they essentially create a VPN and provide an encrypted connection to a secure server. Basically, it provides a VPN without the need for you to set up your own VPN. There is a free basic version of proXPN, one of the two services, so you might want to give it a try and see how it works for you. http://www.pcworld.com/article/261093/2_services_that_help_protect_public_wifi_users.html