Brits Abroad Ignore Wi-Fi Security Dangers

Nearly 90% of Brits abroad don’t have a security product installed on their mobile devices when using Wi-Fi on holiday, according to new research from Intel Security.

The security firm formerly known as McAfee polled 2,000 UK adults about their internet use abroad. It found that 18-24-year-olds were most reckless – with just 6% claiming to have a security solution installed.

Over a third (38%) said they’d connect to open Wi-Fi while on holiday, despite the security risks of doing so. That’s in spite of the fact that 13% claimed they do the same internet-based activity as at home – including online banking.

Once again, 18-24-year-olds (22%) were the group most likely to do this. By comparison, the over-55s were much more risk averse, with just 5% claiming they’d use Wi-Fi abroad in the same way as they do in a secure environment at home.

Intel Security vice president of consumer, mobile and small business, Nick Viney, argued that using public Wi-Fi would without taking adequate security precautions could allow cybercriminals to intercept log-in credentials for valuable online accounts and even lift credit card information.

The dangers of surfing the web while connected to public Wi-Fi are still widely ignored or misunderstood by many netizens.

In July, Finnish security firm F-Secure managed to hack the personal devices of several politicians to highlight these dangers.

With their permission, it commissioned pen-testing specialists Mandalorian Security Services, which was able to access the email account of Tory MP David Davis by grabbing his username and password via a simple public Wi-Fi attack.

Lib Dem peer Baron Strasburger had a VoIP call made from a hotel room intercepted and recorded using kit available on the internet, while MEP Mary Honeyball was hacked and sent a Facebook phishing message while browsing the web in an internet café.

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