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Public Wi-Fi: It's bad, we know it and we don't care

Us humans, we're fascinating creatures. We fear and don't care about cyberattacks at the same time. At least, this is according to a new report by Xirrus (opens in new tab)on how we use public Wi-Fi.  

Here’s how our train of thought works, according to this report: 

1) We want public Wi-Fi pretty much everywhere we go – in hotel lobbies, airports, cafés.
2) We know these networks are not secure and that we’re risking having our private information stolen by accessing various services through them.
3) We do it anyway. 

The report claims that almost half (48 per cent) of Wi-Fi users connect to a public network at least three times a week, with almost a third (31 per cent) doing it every day. More than nine in 10 (91 per cent) don’t believe public networks are secure – but 89 per cent use it anyway.  More than four fifths (83 per cent) access both personal and work email through these networks, and 43 per cent access work-specific information.  

“Today, the convenience of using public Wi-Fi, for a variety of work and recreational uses, supersedes security, which puts both individuals and businesses at risk,” said Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus. 

“Most businesses do not offer secure connectivity options for customers and guests. And what makes connecting to public Wi-Fi even more risky is that employers rarely provide proper education around these security risks, or provide tools to keep their employee and company data safe. Using a secure personal network helps Wi-Fi users stay safe by creating a local network for the user that encrypts all data, and protects their devices from being visible on the public network.”    

Image Credit: Chris Oakley / Flickr

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.