Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wi-Fi Theft

It was interested to read online at BBC News the story of two people cautioned for effectively stealing bandwith from other people's wi-fi connections.

Hailed as the first such prosecutions what surprises me is how they involve people spotted using laptops in the street. I suspect the far more common theft occurs among neighbours who pinch bandwith from unsecured networks.

For example when I recently installed a new router and my laptop was hunting for the available wi-fi links before I could securely partner it with my wi-fi; remarkably it pulled up six unsecured networks, some with signals almost as strong as mine and some with friendly family names.

Now I'm more PR than IT, but know that had I chosen to a few clicks would have linked me to any of those networks and at that moment I would have been stealing their bandwith. However, how many people would have realised that was happening? After all if you are not IT literate enough to secure your network, would you know if someone else is using it?

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