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According to newly published research from cloud-based social Wi-Fi software outfit Purple WiFi, of 2,540 consumer questioned vastly more were concerned about getting access to pornography than were worried about matters of data security.

The 'Using Wi-Fi in Public Places’ study revealed that 28 percent of those asked (711 people) don't use public Wi-Fi, and of that number 27 percent (192 people) didn't do so due to fears about security. Compare and contrast to the 56 percent (1422 people) who were so concerned about being able to access pornography via free Wi-Fi that they thought content filtering should be a legally enforced requirement. A further 26 percent (660 people) bizarrely thought that content filtering by law should depend upon the venue.

Continuing with the bizarre numbers, the apparent disregard for security matters becomes clear when you see that 87 percent (2210 people) were happy to access and check their email using free and unsecured public Wi-Fi, with an astonishing 17 percent (431 people) equally happy to perform online banking tasks this way. The mind, or mine at least, had to do some serious boggling at those percentages.

Gavin Wheeldon, CEO of Purple Wi-Fi, admits that he too is concerned by the results: "we suspected that people are struggling to get online with the often complex sign up procedures of traditional Wi-Fi, and once online we feared they are still unaware of the security risks" he says, continuing "we now have the data to confirm that Wi-Fi access is growing quickly and in much demand, but general knowledge of how to use it and how to access safely is still worryingly lacking."

Worryingly lacking indeed...

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by Hiroshe
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I had to read that three times before I realised what was meant.

People think stopping kids accessing porn is more important than securing bank details.

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Yes. People who are under 18 mostly see Porn websites rather then above 20's...

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I'm not generally concerned over public wifi security. I don't even see too much credible reason to encrypt your home wifi. Most websites I trust information with correctly use TLS. Someone might fall for a spoof if they don't keep there eye on website certificates, but if you do, your're pretty much safe (unless there's some other vunerability on your computer). There are a few sites that don't quite get TLS correct (their easier to spot, thus I don't trust them as much for information). To provent those, I might use a VPN.

The only thing that I'm concerned with when people watch porn in public is the possiblity of onlookers.

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In general people are not educated about security, thus this can really damange them. Security of public wifis can lead to losing private details such as bank card(I don't understand why would u use it on public network even on an SSL connection) etc, but on the other hand insecurying your own wifi is probably as much if not more dangerious. Currently had a friend who owned an IP address to be visited by police. Apparently someone had hacked his wifi, and sells stolen things from that address... trust me he had hard time proving it wasn't him ...

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The police need to prove he is guilty in court to a judge (they won't bother unless they have credable evidence) - you do not need to (ever) prove your innocent to the police. Just saying "my wifi is open" should be enough. It's just like running a TOR exit node. You can even use open wifi/tor exit node as plausable deniability if you wanted. They probably wouldn't have enough evidence for a even warrent, at which point they need to leave you alone.

Also, the vast magority of attackers seem to prefer commercial public wifi anyways, especially with the possibility of people knoticing strange cars/cameras set up (wheras it's harder to notice at a public resturant).

Finally, police would prefer to use banking information to find leads. IP addresses are well known to be unreliable. If the attackers are smart enough to hide there bank trail, there also probably smart enough to anonymise the connection. So if attackers were to use your internet, and if the transaction was tracable to police, then there is a fairly high probability that the transaction left some kind of information for another lead. For example, if the police already know that illigal things are being traded, then they'll probably also have a little more detail, like how the trade is taking place, how the payment is made, etc.. something, almost anything can be made into a lead.

The thing with TLS is, it's very strong mathematically. The most that the NSA seem to be able to do is break RC4 maybe, which is depreiciated anyways. If you don't trust TLS, then you should probably avoid all banking with your computer. If someone was capable is breaking it, then their certianly capable of breaking into your wifi. Also, they would be capable of (physically) intercepting traffic between ISP's, and breaking into 100's of banking accounts no problem at all, so why even bother with targetting yours? The thing with doing banking in public is that someone might be watching you close enough. If your careless, then can get enough information to do damage. Another possibility is that your ignorant and fall for a spoof.

Edited by Hiroshe

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