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Public Wi-Fi is not secure, contrary to popular belief

People are aware of the risks that come with using Wi-Fi, but generally believe public Wi-Fi hotspots, like those on airports, are secure. Those are the results published in Norton's latest Wi-Fi Risk Report 2016, which said 64 per cent of UK's adults assume public Wi-Fis are safe enough to use.

However, Norton says this couldn't be further from the truth.

“We know many consumers believe that using a password to access public Wi-Fi means their information is safe, but that’s not necessarily the case,” said Nick Shaw, Vice President and General Manager at Norton EMEA.

By using these networks, people often offer their private data, even banking information, to hackers on a plate. Besides using unsecure Wi-Fi networks, the problem also lies in unsecured mobile apps, both on Android and iOS mobile operating sytems.

Norton says that 25 per cent of the most popular Android apps in the UK transmit personal data without encryption.

The security firm offers a solution, though – an app called NortonWiFi Privacy, helping consumers protect their private data from prying eyes.

“Norton WiFi Privacy helps protect information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, and denies access to hackers who may be eavesdropping on the same network,“ Shaw added.

The report is based on a poll of more than 9,000 people, across nine markets. It can be found on this link.

Image Credit: Pior Adamowicz / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.