Hackers will often name WiFi hotspots to match the location they’re in
Millions of Brits are risking the security of their smartphone when connecting to public WiFi according to a new study.
Research carried out by cybersecurity company BullGuard revealed that 79 per cent of public WiFi users take significant risks when choosing hotspots.
A total of 2,000 Brits were surveyed and found that 86 per cent of those using public WiFi prioritise convenience ahead of safety.
Four in ten users will usually look for WiFi names that match the name of their location according to BullGuard, however this is often the type of name hackers will set up to try and fool people into choosing a malicious hotspot.
More than a third of those that use public WiFi log into personal accounts that require a password, with 22 per cent using credit cards and 31 per cent using online banking.
The research also found that less than one in ten people are ‘very confident’ that they know how to stay safe when using public WiFi.
However nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) admit to being afraid of data breaches, with consumers most concerned over the safety of banking information (68 per cent), passwords (58 per cent) and email content (27 per cent).
BullGuard CEO Paul Lipman said: “Brits are choosing convenience over safety when using public WiFi.
“The findings show that respondents do not feel safe online, yet they are ignoring their fears and are using hotspots without checking they are safe.
“Hackers can easily set up malicious hotspots which appear to be legitimate and yet can intercept and record people’s personal data, allowing them to steal usernames, passwords, credit card details, bank account information and more.”
The research also highlights that consumers aren’t completely sure to stay safe when using public WiFi with 47 per cent believing that antivirus will prevent their data from being accessed.