Friday Factday: Public WiFi
Friday Factday

Friday Factday: Public WiFi

Ben Thornton
Ben Thornton

Good day, dear readers! Last week, I was by the pool in Gran Canaria, drink in hand, slowly cooking my pasty white self. Thankfully, Graham was on hand to step in and bring you a special Friday Factday on DRM - thanks to him!

Now that we return to our normal programming, for this week's Friday Factday, I thought about something I was doing while abroad - browsing the internet on my phone using the hotel's public WiFi.

Let's dive right in!

A Nice Amount of Weekly Users

Public WiFi is very much a part of modern-day life and, according to a survey done by All About Cookies, 69% (nice) of Internet users access one at least once a week. Over a third – 38% - of users access Public WiFi daily. That's a lot of unsecured network usage.

Only 9% of users report never connecting to Public WiFi.

Coffee, Cake, and Cookies

It's likely not surprising to hear that the most common place people access Public WiFi is in a cafe or restaurant, where people often like to browse the internet while enjoying a coffee. Hotels are tied for the top spot, with WiFi from both locations being accessed by 38% of users.

Other big usage spots include Libraries, Airports, Retail Stores, and Schools, all with 30%+ usage reported.

Putting Personal Info At Risk

There are many risky things you can do when using Public WiFi, but the fact that over half of users report logging in to a site containing personal information while using one is a worrying statistic. If that wasn't enough, almost half of users reported logging in to a financial account – prime targets for threat actors – with slightly more users reporting that they have connected to Public WiFi without bothering to check whether it was legitimate.

Nearly Half of Users Have Been Compromised

Even with the risky behaviors outlined above, it's still staggering to see that 43% of users report having their online security compromised while using Public WiFi, with Cafés and Airports being the most common places. That's a lot of compromised data.

A VPN Can Protect You

Ideally, the safest thing you can do is to not use unsecured Public WiFi at all, but that's not practical for most of us. There are many tips to help improve your safety while using them, like checking the network is legitimate before connecting, never logging in to sensitive accounts like banking, or – and this one is the most straightforward and secure option – always make sure you're using a VPN while you are connected to a Public WiFi. VPNs encrypt your data, keeping it safe from prying eyes.

If, like many, you're someone who makes use of Public WiFi, then Windscribe is your friend, so sign up today!

Ben Thornton
Ben Thornton