By Michael Santo Executive Editor, RealTechNews
According to security firm Sophos, wi-fi piggybacking, which is jumping onto someone else’s wi-fi network and using their bandwidth, is a lot more popular than thought. A survey of 560 respondents, run from October 13 - November 6, 2007, showed that 54% had freeloaded off someone’s unprotected wi-fi.
As we know, people can be arrested for wi-fi theft. But is it really theft? Most people think it’s a victimless crime. But it’s not for the ISP, who loses revenue.
Additionally, if people leave their wi-fi routers unprotected, allowing others to piggyback onto them, the worst problem is that people can get into your network, and if you don’t have your hard drives locked down, infect your systems with malware or grab sensitive files, with perhaps enough data for ID theft to occur.
It’s been said before, but it’s good to say it again: when you get a new wi-fi router, before using it, first change your router password. This should be the first thing you do. Default passwords for specific brands of routers are well-known disable SSID broadcast. There’s no reason to broadcast it, really encrypt with WPA or WPA2 You can take further steps, like restricting access to specific MAC addresses, but personally, I thnk that’s not necessary. The above three steps should be plenty.