HomeChannelsFundamentalsFour common public Wi-Fi security concerns

Four common public Wi-Fi security concerns

Public Wi-Fi can be a great way to have your personal data compromised

With mobile data use exploding, Americans are increasingly at risk of compromising personal information as a function of using unsecured networks including public Wi-Fi.

According to a new survey conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons, 45% of 800 people interviewed failed a four-question cybersecurity quiz.

The survey showed that 61% of adult Internet users don’t have access to online banking, which means they cannot monitor expenses in real time or close to real time.

Among those that had set up online banking, 50% said they haven’t changed their passwords in the past three months and about one in 10 said they haven’t changed their passwords in more than two years.

Then there’s public Wi-Fi. According to the survey, 27% of respondents said they use public Wi-Fi to do banking or make online purchases.

Specific to public Wi-Fi, 24% of thoe surveyed agreed that public Wi-Fi is “not at all safe.”

One in four respondents with smartphones that can access the Internet said they don’t have a passcode on their phone.

Another finding suggests Americans aren’t taking the proper steps to secure laptop and desktop computers from attack. Almost one-quarter of survey takers weren’t sure if they had anti-spyware installed and a similar percentage didn’t have firewalls enabled.

AARP conducted 800 interviews, 559 by landline and 241 by cellphone. The group calculated the maximum statistical error at plus or minus 3.5% with a 95% confidence level. The interviews took place in April.

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