This week, members of the Austin tech community expressed some concern about the police department’s proposed “Operation Wardrive” which was to have taken place today. The purpose of the operation was to look for open WiFi connections and to educate the public on the security risks associated with having an unsecured connection.
According to KVUE, the operation has since been postponed, while the police department considers the logistics, but we thought it was good food for thought.
Should you have a completely open WiFi connection? The answer varies depending on whether you are a coffee shop, a corporation or a private citizen. In any case, you should definitely be aware of the risks to your personal information should you host or even just use a completely open WiFi connection.
Again, from the KVUE article:
Leaving your wireless network open invites a number of problems:
•You may exceed the number of connections permitted by your Internet service provider.
•Users piggy-backing on your internet connection might use up your bandwidth and slow your connection.
•Users piggy-backing on your internet connection might engage in illegal activity that will be traced to you.
•Malicious users may be able to monitor your Internet activity and steal passwords and other sensitive information.
•Malicious users may be able to access files on your computer, install spyware and other malicious programs, or take control of your computer.