Wifi users “reckless”

UK wifi users are knowingly exposing themselves to the risk of data and identity theft, according to research commissioned by security shop Steganos.

The study estimates that 86 per cent of UK wifi users know there is a risk that their data could be intercepted when connecting via a hotspot, yet only 22 per cent use any form of encryption to protect it.

Furthermore, 37 per cent of wifi users have used openly accessible networks belonging to unknown owners, potentially exposing themselves to the risk that their data could be intercepted.

Although 77 per cent of respondents to the study used antivirus software and 72 per cent used a firewall, only 8 per cent encrypted their data and only 14 per cent used a secure link.

Sensitive data is routinely transmitted via wifi, according to Steganos, which estimated 28 per cent of users engage in internet banking and 23 per cent shop online via wifi.

The most popular use of wireless hotspots was to send personal emails, followed by work emails, general research and connecting to the company network.

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