SHERMAN, Conn., Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study of 377 Americans highlights the growing concern of using public Wi-Fi Hotspots. The survey, conducted by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) in conjunction with PRIVATE WiFi, revealed that 79% of respondents believe that using a free Wi-Fi connection can lead to identity theft. 45% of respondents said they were concerned about their security when using a public hotspot and 15% indicated that they were "very concerned." 44% of respondents weren't aware that there is a way to protect their sensitive information while using a public hotspot.
In addition, 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. 24% stated that they made online purchases in a public hotspot, and 57% admitted to accessing confidential work-related information while using a public hotspot.
"We live in a data-driven society where we want to have access to everything at all times, from anywhere- no matter the cost," said Kent Lawson, founder and CEO of PRIVATE WiFi. "I think the most disconcerting thing we learned from our study is that there is a significant measure of concern when it comes to public Wi-Fi security, yet very few realize that there is a simple, yet effective solution in a personal VPN like PRIVATE WiFi."
"Our study revealed that only 27% of respondents use a VPN to protect themselves. While there are various ways to secure your data and identity in a public Wi-Fi hotspot, the most reliable solution that we at the ITRC recommend is a personal VPN," said Rex Davis, director of operations at the ITRC. "There is no doubt that Wi-Fi hotspots are vulnerable, and VPN technology offers the greatest level of protection."
These results come just in time for National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cyber security and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. October 2012 marks the ninth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC).
For more results and information on the survey, Wi-Fi safety tips and the survey infographic, please visit:
About Private Communications Corporation
Private Communications Corporation is a security technology company that protects personal data and information online. PRIVATE WiFi, the company's flagship software product, opens an encrypted pathway for computer data across unencrypted WiFi networks, ensuring online privacy for those without access to virtual private networks (VPNs). Founded by software entrepreneur Kent Lawson, Private Communications Corporation is headquartered in Sherman, CT. For more information, visit us at http://www.privatewifi.com and for articles and other online privacy resources, please visit www.private-i.com. You can also connect with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/privatewifi.
Private WiFi protects your identity and sensitive information by becoming invisible on any public WiFi network. For more information, please contact us at 1-888-525-3078.
Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) is a nonprofit, nationally respected organization dedicated exclusively to the understanding of identity theft and related issues. The ITRC provides 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. For more information, please visit www.idtheftcenter.org.