INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Zealanders naïve about wi-fi safety: Symantec

Published: Tue 8 Aug 2017 05:26 PM

Two-out-of-three New Zealanders think their personal data is safe when they use public wi-fi hotspots. Roughly the same number use hotspots regardless of the consequences. Hardly any users know if they are transmitting data safely when using public wi-fi.
These are Key findings in Symantec’s 2017 Wi-fi Risk Survey.
Wi-fi is popular. Symantec found half of all New Zealanders ask for a wi-fi password when at locations such as a friends house, hotel or café. Almost a third ask for that password within minutes of arriving.
Wi-fi reality
Symantec territory manager Mark Gorrie says the attitudes are out of touch with reality. He says: "People often put their personal information at risk". You don't have to look far for examples. Gorrie says 84 percent of people will use public wi-fi to check their bank details online.
Gorrie says sites masquerading as legitimate hotspots often set up to lure users and collect private information. It’s not always known what they do with the information. Not every data collector has a criminal intent.
One of the strangest findings is that many users think they can tell if the apps they use are secure when transmitting data on wi-fi. Gorrie points out that even security experts have no way of knowing this. You need sophisticated tools to monitor traffic to check this.
Virtual private networks
Symantec’s angle on this is that the company sells virtual private network software that can make wi-fi more secure. I've been using it for the last year, including on a trip to China and have the latest version for testing at the moment. More about that later.
Gorrie says he recommends this for anyone who may use sensitive information over a wi-fi connection. He says users who don’t want to go that far should just be more careful about the information they share on public hotspots. He says you should make sure you don't set your devices to auto-connect when they find an unknown hotspot.
It's good advice. It is safer to use mobile internet on the cellular network when in risky places. It's much harder for criminals to set up a fake cell tower than a fake wi-fi hotspot.
New Zealanders naïve about wi-fi safety: Symantec was first posted at billbennett.co.nz
Digitl
New Zealand technology news
Bill Bennett publishes technology news and features that are directly relevant to New Zealand readers.
Covering enterprise and small business computing, start-ups, listed companies, the technology channel and devices. Bennett's main focus is on New Zealand innovation.
Bill Bennett stories are republished on Geekzone and Scoop.
Stories published on this site are available to publishers for a fixed fee or a monthly subscription.
Contact Bill Bennett
Website:
Google+:
Mobile:
0275082740
Twitter:
Linkedin:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/billbennettnz
Email:

Next in Comment

Opening the Election - Scoop Launches New Q&A; Website
By: Jan Rivers
Rawiri Taonui: The Maori Election
By: Rawiri Taonui
Binoy Kampmark: Trump and Afghanistan
By: Binoy Kampmark
HiveMind: Universal Basic Income - Are we up for it?
By: Hivemind
National Announces Plan To Hit Youth With Big Mallets
By: Lyndon Hood
Public invited to watch key milestone in election timeline
By: Office of the Clerk
A busy and productive year in the House
By: New Zealand Government
Remember Fatima on 22 August: Inquiry into Afghan Deaths Now
By: Hit and Run Inquiry Campaign
What is owed to us? Introducing a UBI in New Zealand
By: Basic Income New Zealand
UBI could increase human well-being and help save the planet
By: Joseph Cederwall
Universal Basic Income - The Future of Work in Aotearoa?
By: Joseph Cederwall
Introducing a UBI in NZ – Insights from the Finnish Trial
By: Pii-Tuulia Nikula
A UBI may be a good idea – but.....
By: Michael Fletcher
Basic income could build community in age of individualism
By: Max Harris and Alexander E. Kentikelenis
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media