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Quarter of American accessing internet via free public Wi-Fi

Staff Writer |
Most U.S. adults are wary about using free Wi-Fi when it’s offered at public places such as bookstores, coffee shops and hotels—primarily because of privacy concerns.

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Nearly half of respondents surveyed in AARP’s July 2016 said they believed that free public Wi-Fi was not very safe, or safe at all for that matter.

Other respondents didn’t quite have these privacy concerns. For example, 39.1% of US adults believed that free public Wi-Fi was somewhat safe to use, and 4.8% felt it was very safe. And there were those that just weren’t sure.

Many people rely on Wi-Fi so they don’t have to use up all of the data they pay for every month.

Companies like Target and Bloomingdale’s have even been offering customers free public Wi-Fi when they’re in any of their locations. And they’ve been trying to further connect with consumers by offering incentives, like coupon codes, once they log in to the public Wi-Fi.

Though privacy may be a concern for some, AARP found that more than a quarter of U.S. adults are accessing the internet via free public Wi-Fi at least once a week.

And more than 40% are accessing the free Wi-Fi at least once a month. Still, 40.2% of respondents said they never access the internet via free public Wi-Fi, perhaps because of privacy concerns.


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