Online security does not rank as a top priority for British internet users, who seem willing to expose their private data to the risks of public Wi-Fi networks, reveals a SecureAuth survey.
Interviews with 1,500 UK adults showed three in five Brits don’t think twice when asked to share personal information via random networks, and they would go as far as giving away their email address and home address. Less than half of respondents confirmed they use public networks for online shopping and to log into their internet banking accounts. Millennials, especially women, are more open than older generations to giving away their information for “free” Wi-Fi.
“With one Wi-Fi hotspot for every six people in the UK, there is no shortage of opportunity for bad actors to take advantage,” said Craig Lund, SecureAuth CEO. “In 2015, there were more than 2,000 confirmed breaches and it’s estimated that 63% of those attacks leveraged stolen credentials. Whilst not all of these attacks took place over public Wi-Fi, clearly it is a window of opportunity for bad actors and there is a need for more consumer education around online security.”
This careless user behavior online also endangers the proprietary information of businesses exposed to man-in-the-middle attacks and network monitoring tools when their employees use public networks to access business information.
“Users will always take the path of least resistance and companies can’t rely on individuals to take adequate measures,” says SecureAuth CEO Craig Lund. “Businesses can make it much harder for criminals to make use of stolen credentials by implementing adaptive access controls to protect their corporate network should login details be compromised in an attack, whether through employee fault or otherwise.”