Poll: 32% Of Neighbors Mooch Wi-Fi From Open Networks

Is the Wi-Fi connection that you're on now open, password-free? If it's also a Wi-Fi network within your home, you should probably change that. A recent survey found that 32% of respondents are guilty of mooching off of nearby open Wi-Fi hotspots, up a significant amount from 18% in a 2008 poll. Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director at the Wi-Fi Alliance, had this to say about the results: "The reality is that many consumers have not taken the steps to protect themselves."

Many consumers simply assume that having an open Wi-Fi connection is the neighborly thing to do, and since so many eateries and stores provide open hotspots for people to use, there's a train of thought that says it's okay. But the reality is that users can tap into easy-to-navigate software programs that allow network spying, basically allowing anyone with a little know-how to snag credit card numbers, etc. right from your open connection.

That 32% figure is honestly a bit higher than we expected. We've seen fewer and fewer open hotspots in residential neighborhoods lately, but obviously too many routers are still running password-free. Just a friendly PSA: if that's you, password up!
Via:  USA Today
inspector 3 years ago

I got to say, i attempt to get free wifi when ever im away from home and my phone network is slow :).

Already got a password on mine.

coolice 3 years ago

Interesting... when i was in 1st year university.... we had to take part in a community-benefit program. Anything that you can do to help throughout the semester and write about the experience etc.

So me and my buddies took upon a different challenge. While most were helping with garbage, housework, taxes etc we decided that anywhere we see an open-wifi/ network. We'd try to find the house, and teach them how configure their router.

All in all, we did 58 documented houses around my neighbourhood and ~12 undocumented. Documented being those were the people who were comfortable giving out their first name and house number.

We spent almost 4 months doing this. its VERY time consuming... but i think those 50 odd people would be happier. Especially with UBB on the eve in canada, I'm hoping that these numbers decline sooner than later.

That being said, if i'm at a store, like Starbucks or something... Hell yea i'm going to leech of their internet hahaha. charging me 3$ for a coffee... i'll make sure i download a couple of distro's of linux while i'm at it hahaa.


dodgers2213 3 years ago

I have my SSID hidden,  WPA with a damn long password, and MAC authentication enabled. Screw leechers

coolice 3 years ago

a 2wire modem/router combo...

Mr. Willington, good choice of image... its usually those crappy modem/router combo's that isp's install that never get configured properly.

RMedley 3 years ago

True I have a newer model modem router of the same type installed from Uverse at my house. But it runs into my Trendnet Router from the which is WPA2-PSk security when enabled, and does not broadcast either. The cool thing about this Trendnet device is that it also has a little flip switch in the back as well that turns wireless on or off.

SO for someone to grab my bandwidth they would have to jump through several hoops for sure. They would also have to come into my house, and turn on the wireless switch.

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