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More than half of all consumers are willing to piggyback on other people's wireless broadband networks, a study has revealed.

Of the 500 people surveyed by The PC Support Group, 58 per cent said they had accessed somebody else's Wi-Fi connection without permission.

Broadband users are able to get online using wireless broadband connections which are left unsecure – in other words, the account holder has not set up a password.

Some 29 per cent of survey respondents said they saw absolutely nothing wrong in this practice – which can result in them receiving free web services.

Phil Bird, Managing Director of The PC Support Group, said some people take the view that if an individual does not take the trouble to password-protect their wireless network they have to accept the consequences.

"Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, if you don't make your system secure, you are at the very least likely to end up paying for someone else to have the privilege of accessing the web," Mr Bird stated.

"It will also slow your use of the internet."

Leaving Wi-Fi networks unsecured may increase a broadband user's exposure to external threats such as hacker attacks.

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