I have found a little OpenSSH switch to be one of my best friends. If I am at a strange client network, cafe, or conference I use “-D” to make me feel warm and fuzzy all over. In OpenSSH if you use this switch you create an SSH SOCKS proxy on the port you specify. Thus encrypting your traffic to the SSH server you specify. In my case I connect to my home computer using a free DYNDNS (http://www.dyndns.com/) dynamic DNS name mapped to my home computer that stays on.
$ssh -D 6666 username@ip-address-of–your-ssh-server
Then you simply point your browser or other programs like IM to that port (in example 6666) on localhost and you can browse from your home computer free of snooping or any potential malicious users.
Another handy tool is ProxyChains (http://proxychains.sourceforge.net/) which I know works on Linux and might compile for you Mac people too.