But with these public wireless hotspots becoming more prevalent, in addition to more travelers using smart phones for Web access, are business travelers putting themselves at a security risk? The short answer, some technology security experts say, is yes. But they add that the use of Wi-Fi at these spots is no riskier than at a coffee shop. "It's a shared medium, and if you can connect to it, someone else can connect to it and monitor your traffic," said Marty Linder, a senior member of the technical staff at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute CERT/Coordination Center. "That has nothing to do with the security of the network. It's just the nature of the beast." For Fran Hanna, the convenience isn't worth the risk. The sales representative from Chapin, South Carolina, would frequently bring her computer on business trips and access Wi-Fi through her hotels. Hackers tapped into her computer, resulting in inappropriate material being sent through her account.

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