HYDERABAD: The Norton Wi-Fi Risk Reports exposes how vulnerable our online lives are when you connect online 74 percent of Indians believe their personal information is safe when using public Wi-Fi, yet more than half (57 percent) act unsafely when online 51 percent of consumers can’t wait more than a few minutes before logging onto a Wi-Fi network once they arrive somewhere new, showing the need to always be connected.
An alarming 73 percent of Indians are even willing to do or swap something for a strong, free Wi-Fi signal. These were some of the findings of the Norton Wi-Fi Risk Reports released last week. Says Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, Consumer Business Unit, Symantec, “What someone thinks are private on their personal device can easily be accessed by cybercriminals through unsecure Wi-Fi Networks or even apps with privacy vulnerabilities.” The Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report surveyed more than 15,000 consumers in 15 countries to learn about their public Wi-Fi practices and perceptions.
The India scenario
l 54 percent of Indians don’t use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to secure their Wi-Fi connections, even though it is considered a best way for protecting personal information.
l 31 percent Indians admit to viewing nude, explicit or suggestive content on public
l Of those people, 44 percent admit to doing so at work and 49 percent have done so in a hotel, hostel or Airbnb
l 96 percent of Indians have potentially put personal information at risk while using public Wi-Fi, including checking their bank accounts, and sharing personal photos and videos.
l Yet 41 percent reported they would feel horrified if their financial details were stolen.
Use Security Software: Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) from a trusted vendor such as Symantec’s Norton Wi-Fi Privacy. VPNs provide a “secure tunnel” that encrypts data being sent and received between your device and the internet.
Look for HTTPS: Many companies use secure websites - HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) - to provide online security. You can tell if a website is secure if it has “https” in its URL and has a small lock symbol next to it. However, even though the website itself might be safe, your personal information could be vulnerable if your network connection isn’t secure.
Share Less: Think twice before entering any type of personal information - from passwords, to financial details and photos - over public Wi-Fi networks. Even if you’re not actively sharing the information, your device may be doing so for you.