Brits Choose Faster Internet Over Security

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Yet another survey has highlighted the risks users are exposing themselves and their employers to by connecting to public Wi-Fi after revealing a whopping 71% of Brits would prefer faster connectivity to online security.

Access control vendor SecureAuth interviewed nearly 1500 UK adults and found that a worryingly high number are happy to share personal details online when connected to insecure networks.

For example, three in five said they don’t mind sharing personally identifiable information online in such circumstances, 69% said they would enter their email address and 20% would divulge their home address to connect to public Wi-Fi.

More worrying is that 28% access work emails when connected to Wi-Fi out and about – highlighting the issue as one of corporate as well as personal security.

Even if details are required to log-in, public Wi-Fi is the Wild West when it comes to online security, with black hats on the same network able to use Man in the Middle attacks and network monitoring tools to gather users’ data.

That’s bad news for the half (49%) of respondents that said they use public Wi-Fi to shop online and the 36% that do their banking this way.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the research found older respondents more cautious online, while millennials were three-times more likely to want faster connectivity than better security.

“Users will always take the path of least resistance and companies can’t rely on individuals to take adequate measures,” argued SecureAuth CEO, Craig Lund. “Businesses can make it much harder for criminals to make use of stolen credentials by implementing adaptive access controls to protect their corporate network should login details be compromised in an attack, whether through employee fault or otherwise.”

Lund urged businesses to implement strong authentication policies – ie 2FA – in order to protect corporate accounts from potential public Wi-Fi snoopers, and to ensure users are subject to risk analysis as part of the log-in process.

He added that users should avoid divulging sensitive log-ins when connected to public networks and to consider using a VPN to hide their browsing session.

Security experts have been warning users for years about the dangers of connecting to public Wi-Fi.

In an attempt to drive home the point, F-Secure teamed up with Mandalorian Security Services and the Cyber Security Research Institute last year to hack several high profile UK and European lawmakers.

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