Nearly half of Americans file their taxes online, and of those who do, 65 percent file them on an open access WiFi network, according to new research from Protect Your Bubble, an identity theft protection provider.
This “shocking” percentage could be related to a lack of awareness on the respondents' part, even after a flurry of newsworthy data breaches, said Brian Richards, product operations manager, Protect Your Bubble, told SCMagazine.com.
“They could be getting comfortable in a routine and not be aware of the WiFi they're logged into,” he said.
For instance, people could have their phones automatically connect to a neighboring coffee shop's network and not think of possible repercussions from their online actions, Richards said. It's simply habit.
Even after tax season, Americans continue making risky decisions with their personal and financial information, as indicated by the fact that half have saved their passwords on eCommerce sites and a quarter use public WiFi hotspots to make a purchase or access their bank account.
“You're basically giving the retailer your information and trusting that they have a security platform to handle it,” Richard said about keeping passwords stored on eCommerce providers' websites.
Seventy-two percent of respondents also claimed to carry their social security cards in their wallets.
The online survey accounted for more than 1,250 respondents from across the U.S.