Does your company have folks who connect to unprotected home wireless networks with company devices? This story could teach them the value of WiFi security.
Last month, a Buffalo, NY, man’s home was raided by federal agents after he was accused of downloading child pornography.
The agents seized the man’s computer, pointed assault rifles at him and allegedly pulled him down a flight of stairs, The Buffalo News reports.
The problem: The man didn’t do it, as police verified three days later after examining the seized PC.
It turned out one of his neighbors had piggybacked onto the man’s home WiFi network — which wasn’t password-protected — to download the illegal material.
This isn’t the first time an unsecured wireless signal has led to a case of mistaken identity. A similar incident occurred in Sarasota, FL, last year.
And it could likely happen a lot more, given how common it is for people to hop on to a neighbor’s connection. In a recent survey conducted by the Wi-Fi Alliance, 32% of respondents admitted to stealing unsecured wireless signals.
That’s possible because so many people don’t bother protecting their home networks — often because they simply aren’t sure how to do it.
That can cause especially big problems when people take their work home with them. In addition to the threat of having a connection be used for illegal activity, leaving WiFi networks open can also allow criminals to steal sensitive company documents.
IT can help prevent problems by warning users of the risks and offering tutorials on wireless security for users that aren’t tech-savvy.