The global study, which included over 1,000 respondents from India, found "more than one in three Indians admit to using public Wi-Fi to watch adult content". But Indians are not alone in this behaviour. At a global level, one in six respondents admitted to using public Wi-Fi to watch adult content.
This includes response of people from across countries like Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Brazil, the US and the UK.
Hotels/Airbnb (49 per cent), friend's place (46 per cent), cafe/restaurants (36 per cent) and workplace (44 per cent) were among the top venues with Indian respondents saying they used the public Wi-Fi at these places to access adult content.
Interestingly, 31 per cent respondents said they had watched adult content on streets using public Wi-Fi, while 34 per cent had done so at a bus or train station. About 24 per cent admitted to have used public Wi-Fi at libraries, while 34 per cent said they had used the service at an airport.
It is also interesting to note that access to Wi-Fi becomes a deciding factor for a significant chunk of Indians when it comes to choosing hotels, airlines and places to eat. Such is the love for free Wi-Fi that 73 per cent respondents said "they wouldn't think twice about exchanging, sharing or even doing something to get a strong, free signal".
There is a deep divide between what people think is safe when it comes to using public Wi-Fi versus the reality, says Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager (Consumer Business Unit) at Symantec. "What someone thinks are private on their personal device can easily be accessed by cyber criminals through unsecure Wi-Fi networks or even apps with privacy vulnerabilities," he adds.
The cybersecurity solutions firm also noted that 96 per cent of Indian respondents had acted in a risky manner online using a public Wi-Fi. While 68 per cent had logged onto their social media accounts, 46 per cent had access work emails, 30 per cent said they had accessed their financial information using public Wi-Fi.
Asked about their reaction if hackers accessed or posted their private chat/text conversations, 33 per cent respondents said they would feel angry, while 30 per cent said they would be embarrassed if such a thing were to happen. About 41 per cent said they would be "most horrified if financial details were stolen and published online".