A new study by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and PRIVATE WiFi, revealed that 79% of respondents believe that using a free Wi-Fi connection can lead to identity theft.
45% of respondents said they were concerned about their security when using a public hotspot and 15% indicated that they were “very concerned.” 44% of respondents weren’t aware that there is a way to protect their sensitive information while using a public hotspot.
In addition, nearly 70% of those surveyed stated that they knew a password used to gain Internet access in a public hotspot was not sufficient enough to keep their data secure. 24% stated that they made online purchases in a public hotspot, and 57% admitted to accessing confidential work-related information while using a public hotspot.
“Our study revealed that only 27% of respondents use a VPN to protect themselves. While there are various ways to secure your data and identity in a public Wi-Fi hotspot, the most reliable solution that we at the ITRC recommend is a personal VPN,” said Rex Davis, director of operations at the ITRC. “There is no doubt that Wi-Fi hotspots are vulnerable, and VPN technology offers the greatest level of protection.”