Report: people just don’t realise the dangers of using public wifi

People don’t realise the danger they face when using public wifi.

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A report recently released by online security company Symantec has revealed that most people don’t realise the danger they face when using public wifi.

The 2017 Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report showed that 60 per cent of people think their details and information are safe when they use public wifi, when in fact, the opposite is true.

The Symantec survey investigated the internet habits of over 15000 adults across 15 countries. It found that public internet users are constantly, and unwittingly, putting their personal data, including financial details at risk.

“There is a deep divide between what people think is safe when it comes to using public wifi versus the reality. What someone thinks is private on their personal device can easily be accessed by cybercriminals through unsecure Wi-Fi networks …” said the Executive Vice President of Symantec’s Consumer Business Unit, Fran Rosch.

People use public wifi to monitor personal and work email, access social media, share photos and videos, and check banking and other financial information.

The survey also found that, within a few minutes of being near a wifi signal, 46 per cent of respondents will access it or ask for the password.

Symantec strongly advises that public wifi users limit the amount of sensitive information they share over public connections. This includes passwords, financial details, and pretty much everything listed above.

“Even if you’re not actively sharing the information, your device may be doing so for you. Many devices are programmed to automatically seek connections to other devices on the same network, which could cause your files to be vulnerable. Be sure to disable sharing on your devices to ensure what’s yours stays yours,” said Ms Rosch.

Do you use public wifi? Do you care that your information could be discovered?

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    17th Oct 2017
    10:29am
    I would never open a banking account with public wifi. Just too dangerous no matter how 'safe' the network claims to be.
    Hobbit
    17th Oct 2017
    11:40am
    Krack WPA2 Wi-Fi Vulnerability announced today makes using public WiFi dangerous until such time as all Modem vendors have had time to update their devices. See this link: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/new-krack-attack-breaks-wpa2-wifi-protocol/
    biddi
    17th Oct 2017
    2:38pm
    Well, you must be totally housebound, Mick.
    What to do? I'm going on holiday to INDIA on Sat.
    Guess I won't be checking my bank balance until I return.
    Sick of all the worries re internet these days.
    LiveItUp
    18th Oct 2017
    7:24am
    Public WIFI is no more dangerous than using any internet access. If you can access the internet then they can get to you.
    Hobbit
    19th Oct 2017
    10:40am
    Not true since the Krack issue. Public WiFi is more prone to Krack attacks


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