What any open hotspot can do to protect its users…Sharable Shortlink
For example, Starbucks could simply set their password to “starbucks”, Peets Coffee to “peets”, Panera Bread to “panera” … and every user of those free wireless hotspots would be protected from the Firesheep threat … and from much more. Or, by general agreement, all free and open WiFi access points could simply use the password “free”, which would work just as well.
As long as the universally supported WPA encryption protocol is used, each individual user receives their own private “session key” that absolutely prevents eavesdropping between users, even through they are all using the same WiFi password. It’s just that simple.
Hotspots only need to switch from “no encryption” to WPA and post or publish any static WPA password … and a large part of the problem, and more, is solved.
I have posted a following-up to this blog posting with a detailed look at Firesheep, and why I think it is such a fantastic thing to have happened. But before I wrote that I wanted to quickly publish the idea of simply encrypting with WPA under any simple static password, since that will instantly lock down any public WiFi hotspot.