Study finds that 14 percent of U.S. consumers "borrow" free Wi-Fi

Study finds that 14 percent of U.S. consumers "borrow" free Wi-Fi

Summary: A new study from Accenture reveals that 12 percent of U.S.


A new study from Accenture reveals that 12 percent of U.S. and U.K. respondents admit to using someone else’s Wi-Fi connection. Accenture says that piggybacking is more common in the United States, with one in seven people--14 percent-- admitting to borrowing someone else’s signal. And, not surprisingly, the practice is more popular among 18-to 34-year-olds.

The study, a rather shallow survey of 800 telephone interviews, also found that nearly half of all respondents use the same password for all online accounts. It doesn’t indicate whether they’re using strong passwords, however. Accenture says that 25 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t shop at an online retailed that had suffered a security breach; 33 percent said they’d still shop at the e-tailer, but wouldn’t use credit cards.

Finally, the study found that people in the United States are more likely to keep their security software up to date than their U.K. counterparts. One in 20 U.S. respondents said they never update security software; in the U.K., that ratio was one in 7.

Topics: Security, Networking, Wi-Fi

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  • One thing I've noticed

    is that SAYING you update your security software isn't exactly the same as actually doing it.
    Michael Kelly
  • RE: Study finds that 14 percent of U.S. consumers

    I think that that percentage would be much, much less if Linksys routers weren't open by default. I can usually count on an open Linksys router somewhere while travelling.
  • Borrowing WiFi

    There needs to be a little more in-depth questioning there I think. If I were given the survey, I would have to admit that I've borrowed someone else's wireless connection - but only when my Internet access is down. Without the why's of the circumstance, it's easy to assume 14% of people are stealing someone else's connection full-time.
  • Percentage could be higher for those people who don't know any better

    The percentage could probably be higher because dumb new laptop owners may think wi-fi actually just works when they open up the laptop and that the internet just comes out of the sky from somewhere for free. There are people out there who simply don't know what is behind wi-fi and think it's just like free over-the-air antenna broadcast radio and tv. That is, they think if they don't have to hook up to a cable, then they don't have to pay for it.