Today’s travellers prioritize free wi-fi over everything, yet a large number of us don’t pay any heed to how secure our connection is.
According to a recent survey by The GO Group, an international ground transportation provider, nearly 25 per cent of travellers say they are not very concerned about security when using wi-fi while travelling, although nearly half (48 per cent) said they were somewhat concerned.
Of the 293 people surveyed, a minority of 19 per cent reported they were were very concerned while a small percentage (9 per cent) said they never thought about wifi security at all.
The thing is, they really should.
“Travellers need to be aware that it is not overly difficult for criminals to steal personal information when people use wifi networks in public spaces,” said John McCarthy, president of The GO Group. “All thieves need is a battery powered hotspot.”
No one knows the real figures as to how big a problem identity theft is for travellers, but of the people participating in this survey, three per cent of them reported having personal information stolen while using wifi in an airport or on a plane. Twenty-eight percent said they did now know whether or not they have had information stolen.
Several respondents expressed that they didn’t have information worth stealing. The truth is that they do, because chances are high that the password you are using for your email is the same one that you use for your online bank and other accounts and once they breach one account, it’s fairly easy to get into the others.
“Using common sense and taking active measures, such as verifying the full name of the wifi network, turning off file sharing, only using sites with HTTPS encryptions and not conducting online financial transactions can go a long way in protecting sensitive information,” adds McCarthy.
How secure are you when you use wifi networks when you travel?