Bronwyn Saglimbeni, Reidy Communications
SURVEY SUGGESTS MAJORITY OF CONSUMERS ARE
NOT CONCERNED ABOUT PRIVACY AT PUBLIC WI-FI
Only 26% Expressed Concerns About Security, Research Also Indicates that 51% of U.S.
Adults Have Connected to the Internet Wirelessly of which 63% Have Done so in a
Public Hot Spot
Sunnyvale, Calif. – September 12, 2006 – AnchorFree, the world’s largest free Wi-Fi
network and community, consisting of more than 10,000 wireless hotspots in over 2,400
cities across the U.S. and worldwide, announced first-of-its kind survey results about
wireless Internet access usage and security.
According to the study commissioned by AnchorFree and conducted by Harris
Interactive®, half (51%) of U.S. adults have connected to the Internet wirelessly and
sixty-three percent (63%) of these adults have connected via a free public Hot Spot; and
of the 63 percent, nearly half (46%) believe the connection is only somewhat secure. Yet,
despite this perceived lack of security, few free public hotspot users expressed concern
about their online privacy when using such connections: Only 26% of those respondents
were either concerned or very concerned. Half (52%) are only somewhat concerned, and
one in five (22%) are not at all concerned.
“What this research revealed is that consumers are only vaguely aware of the mammoth
security issues surrounding public Wi-Fi hotspots,” said David Gorodyansky, president &
co-founder of AnchorFree. “Consumers are ‘sitting ducks’ while using public hotspots, as
hackers can easily ‘hijack’ the network and spy on unsuspecting Web surfers, stealing
their identity information.”
The online survey was conducted as part of an educational campaign sponsored by
AnchorFree, a company that is dedicated to providing free wireless access to PC and Mac
users. AnchorFree is committed to spreading the word that free Wi-Fi is accessible
around the world, but cautions consumers to protect themselves when they log-on to the
Internet using public locations.
AnchorFree offers a free security Hot Spot Shield download that creates a secure Internet
session via a Virtual Private Network (VPN). “Some of the local municipalities
launching free regional Wi-Fi access are offering one-off security solutions to consumers,
but they only work with PCs, and are specific to an individual area. AnchorFree’s
Hotspot Shield works to protect consumers at any public hotspot – for both Mac and PC
users alike,” Gorodyansky added.
Wireless Internet users can download AnchorFree’s free Hotspot Shield software for
Macs and PCs at http://www.anchofree.com
About the Survey
This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of AnchorFree
between August 8 and August 10, 2006, among 2,337 U.S. adults 18 years of age or
older. Figures for region, age within gender, education, household income and
race/ethnicity were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual
proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for
respondents’ propensity to be online.
With a pure probability sample of 2,337 one could say with a ninety-five percent
probability that the overall results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage
points. The sampling error for the sub-samples of U.S. adults who have connected to the
Internet wirelessly in public (n= 608) and U.S. adults who have connected to the Internet
wirelessly at a free public hotspot (n= 379) is higher and varies. However that does not
take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability
sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
AnchorFree is dedicated to developing solutions for consumers and businesses that are
“better than free.” Through its acquisition of MetroFreeFi.com, AnchorFree offers the
world’s largest network and community with more than 10,000 free high-speed Wi-Fi
hotspots. AnchorFree also offers HotSpot Shield, a free solution to protect PC and Apple
users from hackers at wireless hotspots. Recently, AnchorFree launched its free wiPod
solution, allowing users to download lists of hotspot locations to their Apple iPods. Based
in Sunnyvale, California, AnchorFree is a privately held company. For more
information, visit www.anchorfree.com.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the
world. The company provides research-driven insights and strategic advice to help its
clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring
improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll,
one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market
research methods. The company has built what could conceivably be the world’s largest
panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients
worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned
subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market
research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients
with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and
tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be
obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com. To become a member of the Harris Poll
Online, visit http://go.hpolsurveys.com/PR.