Wi-Fi – Is It A Wretched Hive Of Bandwidth Theft And Other Villainy?

the dangers of WiFi

If you’re reading this then you are a fellow internet user and so I’m sure you’ll agree that Wi-Fi has been one of the best developments in the industry in recent years.

Wireless connections allow a huge amount of freedom in terms of when, where and how you can connect to the internet.

But does that come at a price?

There are many crimes based around the use of Wi-Fi connections, ranging from the almost trivial to the extremely serious.

WIFI-crimes

Wi-Fi Crimes

On the lesser end of the scale is the issue of bandwidth theft in which someone chooses to hijack another’s connection in order to allow them to have access to the internet without actually having to pay for it.

Such theft can occur in a number of ways, ranging from ‘borrowing’ a friend or neighbour’s connection in order to check a few emails to hopping onto someone else’s router for all internet access.

Connecting to another wireless router in your area is remarkably easy to do, especially if the ones in your locale are poorly protected.

Unprotected networks are everywhere and it just takes a few clicks in order to connect to the internet through them without having to pay a cent for the privilege.

Is it worth it though?

New Laws Against Wi-Fi Stealing

Tougher laws have been coming in recently, dealing specifically with the felony of ‘Wi-Fi stealing’ and there have even been some arrests.

Those new laws have probably been introduced due to the more serious crimes that are perpetrated over insecure wireless connections.

The more severe abuses of Wi-Fi include using it for hacking purposes or otherwise logging onto networks and then conducting illegal activities.

Another example would be someone who hijacks a connection to download torrents, or other copyrighted files, whilst leaving the owner of the connection to pay for the bandwidth that has been used or, in extreme circumstances, to have to explain all the downloading that appears to have originated from their account.

Lastly, the most heinous use of stolen connections is in the dissemination of child porn which is not only hideous in itself but can really cast a dark cloud over whoever’s connection has been used for the downloading.

So, to recap, not only can thieves steal your connection but they can also cause you much embarrassment and maybe even get you some jail time in the most extreme circumstances.

Protect Yourself

What are you going to do about it?

Well, you owe it to yourself to protect your own wireless connection because if you don’t you may not be guilty but you are certainly being reckless.

Here’s how to protect your wireless network.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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