Accessing public Wi-Fi networks comes with its risks—hackers snoop on network traffic—but a new study finds 39% of U.S. adults have sent sensitive information, including banking information and social security numbers, over such unsecured networks.
Polling 2,037 adults, a study conducted by Nielsen's Harris Poll for virtual private network company Private WiFi found most people understood such risks, with 88% of respondents mentioning identity theft as a possible threat when using unprotected Wi-Fi networks.
That said, 26% of respondents said they have checked their bank accounts and 19% have paid bills while using public Wi-Fi. In addition, 8% admitted to sending emails containing sensitive information, such as social security numbers or account numbers, over these unprotected networks.
With tax season underway, 6% of respondents said they have also filed their taxes, which contain their social security number, income, and other sensitive information, over public Wi-Fi.