It’s an interesting back and forth in the tech world. Do we secure our networks or keep them open. In doing wireless network setups for consumers I usually ask the question of the owner, do you want your networked secured. Inevitably the response is… What’s the risk?
I know most of my friends in the IT industry will disagree, but I say leave them open. Hopefully this will yield some well needed comments to this blog…
The real risk is someone might use your network to surf the internet, using some of your bandwidth, chances are you would never even notice because of the size of the pipes now. Worse case scenario is someone hacks in and monitors all of your traffic, maybe uses your pipe for spam or viruses, etc. Personally I think if someone wants to steal you info they are going to do it regardless of the protection you have, and if they have the knowledge and tools to do it they are probably going after much bigger fish. However, if you have a neighbor who is 13 and has a computer but his parents can’t afford or won’t pay for internet access, why not give him a free online solution?
Of course if you talk to the ISP they say, you have to lock it down, you don’t want someone using your network to download illegal stuff. The government or your ISP should not be able to tie you to an IP address, and if they wanted to download illegal stuff they could go to any MacDonalds , or Starbucks, etc to get free open wifi. My phone finds free wifi wherever i go and I am in a rural area.
Growing up, before the internet, I used to get on Bulletin Board Systems, they were all free, free downloads, backroom type stuff, but that is how you learn, you play around, if you have to pay to play then you you won’t learn. The excitement of a kid getting free WiFi somewhere and doing stuff on the internet is how kids learn to become computer experts. The problem is most of the so called experts now learned everything from the companies that wield the money and power, therefore they think that this needs to be a locked system so they can capitalize on it. that is what stifles creativity and slows advancements in technology.
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