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Wireless broadband users must ensure they take steps to protect their laptops, it has been claimed.

Tony Neate, Managing Director of IT security partnership Get Safe Online, said that in addition to anti-virus and firewall protections, users should be securing their wireless network with encryption.

He noted that there has been a significant rise in the number of people accessing the web via wireless services, heightening the need for best practice in terms of security.

"[Users] have to be careful using other people's wireless access points, which can be quite dangerous," Mr Neate added.

"We need to make sure that they know the computers they are using are very secure."

Stuff.tv recently reported that dongles may be a better alternative for consumers who regularly use free Wi-Fi hotspots.

Consumers who spend large amounts of time using public wireless broadband services were advised to invest in their own mobile broadband modem.

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