Clearly, we have a real problem with how we utilize our public Wi-Fi hotspots along with how we view our security at these venues. And thanks to that darn Firefox plugin, it seems like all is lost and no longer can we surf the Web in quite the same way again.
To a point, this is true. However, if you want to take some of those extra security precautions to heart and whenever possible, use SSL/TLS security when possible for your account logins.
For instance, did you know that Twitter and Facebook both have secure socket layer logins available? Neither did I until I started using the right add-ons for Chrome and Firefox.
For Firefox users, I recommend looking into Force-TLS as an example of implementing security into browsing. And for Chrome users, check out KB SSL Enforcer to make sure you are always going to the SSL protection logins for social media and banking Web sites. Now for the downside to using either of these options. Some sites don’t have an HTTPS option and will deliver daunting messages like “page cannot be displayed” or “untrusted Web site.” That is the downside to using this option.
So is this something to recommend to the less tech savvy for help in avoiding Firesheep and other related exploits? Not really. No, your best bet is to simply have them make sure their bookmarks for social media sites, email, and banking are done with HTTPS rather than using the plugins. While I am confident that these plugins could be helpful down the road, currently it does provide a consistent experience to the degree where casual users can trust the value of either add-on. Eventually, this may change. But in the meantime, either use a remote desktop solution while away from home or at the very least, let SSL/TLS be your guide from a manual perspective.