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OTTAWA – Former U.S. Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff has a handful of golden rules for what he calls good Internet hygiene. And the first is simple: don’t use the free Wi-Fi.

The data that people send across the Wi-Fi connections in hotels, coffee shops, or airport lounges is easily captured by others, including criminals or business competitors, he says.

Chertoff’s other advice: make your passwords more secure; be careful using those handy thumb drives; don’t open email from people you weren’t expecting to hear from; and think twice about bringing your regular tablet or mobile device with you to a foreign...

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