Public Wi-Fi Use Grows, Despite Security Risks

Xirrus report says that, compared to 2015, this year public Wi-Fi users have increased significantly with 48% connecting at least three times a week and 31% daily. Awareness for security is there and 70% are even willing to change hotels for better connection and security. But the need to be connected overcomes security concerns.

Users are aware of cyber threats, but 30% haven’t heard of ransomware, the report noted.

In 2015, most users (79 percent) stated that they don’t feel that public Wi-Fi is secure; however, the majority (62 percent) still use it. In 2016, 91 percent of the sampled population don’t believe public Wi-Fi is secure, while 89 percent choose to still use it. While more Wi-Fi users are aware of the risk, an increasing number of Wi-Fi users connect anyways.

In addition, 70 percent of Wi-Fi users would change their hotel for improved Wi-Fi security and performance, with coffee shops and restaurants in close second. In 2015, the report said, more than half (66 percent) of Wi-Fi users said they would change hotels for a better Wi-Fi experience. That number increased this year.

Increasingly, travelers not only expect faster, more reliable Wi-Fi, but also security built in. People have realized performance is no longer enough on its own; it goes best with security. The report found that
respondents would book travel accommodations elsewhere if there was “bad” or “insecure” Wi-Fi.

The report highlights neglect of enterprises, which ignore cybersecurity training for staff even though they are accessing sensitive information in public. Around 46% of staff said they were not given security training in the past year, and 26% even said their employers do not recommend security measures during travel.

Last, 85 percent of Wi-Fi users would blame themselves if they get hacked, only 32 percent would blame the Wi-Fi vendor and 24 percent would blame the venue.

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