A recent survey of 2,203 U.S. travelers found that 83 percent of travelers use public W-Fi while traveling, even though 82 percent say they're very or extremely concerned about their security online (h/t SC Magazine).
Among respondents, 51 said they're very or extremely concerned about their security when using a banking or financial site, 51 percent said the same of making a purchase with a credit or debit card, 45 percent said so of logging into an account with stored payment information, and 30 percent said they're very or extremely concerned about logging into any Web site that requires a user name and password.
The survey, commissioned by AnchorFree and conducted by PhoCusWright through Global Market Insite, also found that 16 percent try to protect themselves by connecting to public Wi-Fi via VPN, 54 percent try to protect themselves by avoiding online activities that might expose their personally identifiable information, 39 percent try to protect themselves by connecting only when absolutely necessary, and 13 percent say they're not aware of any way to protect their information online.
"In the age of tablets, smartphones and ubiquitous hotspots, many travelers don't realize that they are unsuspectingly sharing sensitive information with others on public Wi-Fi," Anchorfree CEO David Gorodyansky said in a statement. "It's troubling that while most travelers are concerned about online hacking, very few know how, or care enough, to protect themselves. Looming threats -- from cyber thieves to malware and snoopers -- are skyrocketing on public Wi-Fi and travelers need to be vigilant in protecting themselves."