A new survey has revealed that over half of all publicly available Wi-Fi connections around the world are left open and unsecured, leaving them and their users vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals.
The survey by Purple Wi-Fi looked at 3,349 venues around the world offering free connectivity to their clients. Of the networks surveyed, a total of 2,048 reported that their service was totally open, or that passwords were handed out freely. Whilst free Wi-Fi networks are very convenient for users, the lack of password-protection can lead to these free networks being used by criminals.
Purple Wi-Fi is a UK based company, which has used the shocking findings of its survey as a springboard for their new service. By UK law, all public Wi-Fi providers must be able to track network activities back to an individual user, which is impossible on unsecured networks. Purple Wi-Fi’s new “legally compliant” Wi-Fi service will cost around $40 a month (£25) and will offer venues the ability to track network activity and filter content.
Purple Wi-Fi reports that although 80% of providers believe their network is in compliance with standard laws, only around 40% of public connections are legally safe.