Wi-Fi left wide open, warns government

A government-sponsored net safety campaign has warned that too many Britons are leaving their Wi-Fi connections unsecured.

Wi-Fi left wide open, warns government

Get Safe Online claims that 19 million households in the UK have wireless networks, but that 7.8 million leave their connections unsecured.

“Most internet users don’t realise the risks involved in using Wi-Fi if you use an unsecured network,” says Tony Neate, managing director of Get Safe Online. “Criminals can use the network you are on to hijack your PC or laptop, meaning that they can see, steal, delete or even add files on your machine. They can do all of these things while you are using your PC without you even realising something is wrong.”

The campaign has also issued familiar warnings about the safety of social networking. It claims more than a quarter of 18-24 year-olds have posted information or photos of other people without their consent. The survey also found that 15% of people don’t take advantage of any of the privacy settings on sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The survey also reveals that the sites are a snooper’s paradise. Nearly three in ten people admit they’ve looked up an old flame on a social networking site, while a similar number have scouted around for information on colleagues, potential employees or their boss.

The good news for the software industry is that 88% of people have security software installed on their PCs and laptops, with 35-44 year-olds proving to be the most security conscious age-group – no doubt because they’re the most likely to have young children.

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