I guess Im a little confused then. Aren't WEP keys used between a laptop and an access point that has WEP enabled? Hotspots usually dont have WEP enabled, so entering a WEP key doesnt do any good there ... no? MAC filtering ... again doesnt the wireless access point need to have MAC filtering enabled and know of the MAC address of the laptop that is trying to connect? Meaning ... the MAC address of the laptop needs to be manually entered in the A.P./Router. The thread originator is asking to secure his data while connected to a FREE service ... i.e. while at Starbucks.
Your above suggestions do work if you're trying to secure your wireless access point/router, but I just dont see how they would work with a public hotspot that is wide open. Teach me ... I'm trying to figure this one out.