Don’t covet your neighbor’s Wi-Fi

120

We’ve all lived it: your money is running out, you want to watch the latest movie, and your friend doesn’t have Wi-Fi. You do a quick rundown of available networks, and here they are: a few houses have open wireless networks.

We’ve all lived it: your money is running out, you want to watch the latest movie, and your friend doesn’t have Wi-Fi. You do a quick rundown of available networks, and here they are: a few houses have open wireless networks. You can quickly connect and do your thing and no one will even notice and no one will get hurt – right?

While it may appear that there are no victims in this crime, you really must not do this. Why? Because it is theft, even if someone is careless enough not to password protect their home network. Below are a few more reasons why you should pay for your own Wi-Fi instead of „borrowing” it.

Malicious intentions

Visitors to shopping malls, restaurants and other public places should beware of „free” Wi-Fi . Criminals very often set up fake Wi-Fi access points that are in fact free, but their purpose is to steal credentials  from unsuspecting users who just want to use the internet. Most of the time it happens in such popular places as cafes, shopping malls or parks located near the city center. You never know if a Wi-Fi network called Cafe is really a network coming from a nearby cafe.

It might as well belong to someone in the neighborhood looking for ways to access credit cards, Netflix or social networks.

Security

If you can use your neighbor’s Wi-Fi without providing a password, remember that he obviously doesn’t care about security. If you can do it, someone else can do it. Anyone.

When joining such a network, don’t rely on your neighbor to follow only „best practices”. If there is a nasty infection lurking on his system, know that you can catch it. That’s why it’s worth trusting your antivirus.

Deadly speed

Do you like your video getting stuck in buffer mode? Of course not – nobody likes it because it kills all the viewing pleasure.

When you secretly use your neighbor’s Wi-Fi, not only do you have to accept the speed he’s paying for, but that other people and devices are using your network. For example, if your wife watches Netflix movies, the kids are playing League of Legends, and the husband is downloading and updating all the apps on his phone, it’s likely that your watching a video on YouTube paid VOD will be interrupted by constant buffering.

What does a public swimming pool and public Wi-Fi have in common? Too many people!

Also remember that your presence on someone else’s network means that the person who paid for it cannot use the full bandwidth.

Pizza Party

Everyone loves pizza and ice cream at friends' parties. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to give up tasty and free food. The same goes for other „free” things like your neighbors' Wi-Fi. It is very likely that you have at least one neighbor using another neighbor’s unprotected Wi-Fi as a trap, so-called honeypot.

Unfortunately, he can share this network with his friends, pizza vendors, ice cream truck drivers and those guys wearing Guy Fawkes masks who make bizarre movies and sleep all day. The same may be true for a network that is supposed to be protected because it has a password, but it is very easy to guess – for example, the password „Barbara” for a network called „Barbara”.

The problem is that you never know who is on this network with you. Given that Wi-Fi is the weakest link in the security chain, you really like to take risks. You hope that other people aren’t bad enough to infect and replace links to sites, install malicious programs or even steal someone’s credentials.

Is it worth it?

There is sure to be a lot of valuable information on your devices, from work-related to family photos to digital memories. Do you really want to risk losing them because you don’t want to pay for your own Wi-Fi?

If you ask me, I answer: don’t do it . Not only is it unethical to 'borrow' Wi-Fi from your neighbors, it’s also quite reckless.