21 Mar 2008

Are you a cyber criminal? 

According to a survey by the Geek Squad - 1-in-5 people surveyed have made use of someone elses insecure wireless Internet connection. From these figures they suggest that WiFi 'Piggybacking' is the "most common crime in the UK".

Unfortunately there seem to be some flaws in their survey, and they don't make it clear how many people took part in the survey, or where they found them which of course would make a big difference.

Have you ever made use of an insecure WiFi Internet connection? You neighbours for example? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

Ignoring how they got the results - my problems with the survey are on several levels :

  • I'm not convinced that 1-in-5 people in the country yet know how to piggyback a WiFi connection
  • A statement that 31 million Britons went online extrapolated to mean (1-in-5) 6.3 million pggybacked a WiFi connection
  • Comparison of this 6m against reported crime stats to make this the most common crime is invalid - almost every car driver in the country speeds at one point even inadvertently - they aren't all caught and reported either.
  • My experience of getting a WiFi signal through even one half decent wall suggests that very many WiFi signals are almost useless outside the owners home without specialist antenna.

So - what do you think?

Have you secured your WiFi connection?

Have you 'Piggybacked' someone elses connection?

Do you know how to secure your wireless connection?

Do you care if your neighbour - or that dodgy bloke down the road is using your connection?

Have you considered that not only can they use your connection - they can get into your computer to steal your personal information?

Comments

My WiFi connection has only just been secured after having it for almost two years. I installed the router myself, but not being that hot on technology at times I had no idea how to secure it (hence the delay in getting it sorted). I was a bit worried that someone might 'piggyback' my connection in case they downloaded some dodgy stuff and I got the blame!
I do think that there is a bit of a misconception regarding how often people actually 'piggyback' because my signal goes to 'very low' even if I use the lappy upstairs. So heaven help anyone trying to nick my signal from further away than that!
Comment by Barb5 - 8 Apr 2008 10:12

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