Is Public WiFi Safe?


Most of us use public WiFi every day, but are we protecting ourselves when we use it? And how can be keep ourselves secure?

A survey by the Identity Theft Resource Center in conjunction with PRIVATE WiFi indicates that fully 79% of respondents believe that free WiFi can lead to identity theft, although few of us are taking the necessary steps to protect ourselves. And to protect yourself, a personal VPN is your best line of defense.

The study revealed that 45% of respondents said they were “concerned” about their security when using a public hotspot and 15% indicated that they were “very concerned.” Significantly, 44% of respondents weren’t aware that there was a way to protect their sensitive information while using a public hotspot, such as using a VPN.

Nearly 70% of those surveyed stated that they knew a password used to gain Internet access in a public hotspot was not sufficient enough to keep their data secure. But despite this, nearly a quarter admitted to making online purchases while using public WiFi, and 57% have accessed confidential work-related information while using a public hotspot.

Bottom line: no public WiFi network is safe, and anything you do online is exposed to anyone else on the same network. This includes credit card numbers, passwords, social media logins, private messages, and anything else you do online. Only a VPN like PRIVATE WiFi can fully protect you.

The ITRC is a nonprofit, nationally respected organization dedicated exclusively to the understanding of identity theft and related issues. Providing victim and consumer support as well as public education, the ITRC also advises governmental agencies, legislators, law enforcement, and businesses about the evolving and growing problem of identity theft.

PRIVATE WiFi is a personal VPN product that encrypts all computer data across unsecure WiFi networks, ensuring online privacy for those accessing public WiFi networks. Download a free 3-day trial of the software today.

Both organizations hope these results raise awareness about cyber security and wireless privacy.


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Jared Howe

Jared Howe is PRIVATE WiFi’s Senior Manager, Product Marketing Communications. Working in high tech for over 15 years, Jared currently lives in Seattle with his wife, daughter, and their two cats.