More than half (56 percent) of Brits that use public Wi-Fi rarely check if it is encrypted before logging on, says UK2.
Research conducted by the web hosting firm in conjunction with YouGov revealed more than two thirds (67 percent) did not know what VPN or Virtual Private Network means. However, 86 percent said they ensure their home Wi-Fi network is secure, indicating there is a discrepancy between ensuring safety when surfing the web from home and when on-the-go.
Nearly half (46 percent) of adult UK web users said they're worried about viruses when surfing the web, while 41 percent are concerned about phishing attacks and two in five claimed to be anxious about the threat of cyber-snooping or hacking while using mobile devices.
However, more than one in five (22 percent) admitted they'd entered a password for an email account when using a public Wi-Fi connection and 21 percent have logged on to their Facebook account. Furthermore, eight percent have used online banking services when connected to a public Wi-Fi network and 15 percent have entered credit or debit card details to make an online purchase.
"The results of our research on public Wi-Fi usage suggest that users prioritise convenience over taking sensible security precautions," says Russell Foster, managing director of VPNHQ, UK2's new service that lets web users to set-up their own VPN quickly and easily.
"The amount of personal data transmitted from mobile devices is growing, making them increasingly attractive targets for cyber criminals. Using a VPN is a simple, cost-effective and unobtrusive solution which exploits technology already native on almost every internet-enabled device on earth to provide security and peace of mind when using any wireless network."