While the internet gives us a useful tool at our disposal when it comes to business, interaction with friends and family, and a lot more, it also expands the approaches that criminals can take. People have been using the internet for nefarious activities since it was first created, and that won’t be changing anytime soon.
If you mainly use your internet over wifi, then you probably have plenty of experience entering your WPA2 (or similar) password, and you may have wondered why it’s so necessary. In this short guide, we’ll take the time to explain why you should keep your wifi secured all the time, and with a strong password.
Someone Else Can Perform Illegal Activities on Your Network
When it comes to an IP address and an internet connection, the person that is paying for it is considered the one responsible for it. This means that if someone else accesses your network and you can’t prove that it wasn’t you, then you may end up getting blamed for things that they did.
This can range from targeted harassment and bullying to illegally sharing files and other crimes that can carry a hefty penalty. This is also why it’s important to keep your network security as strong as possible, as enterprising criminals will see an open wifi network as an invitation.
It Can Provide Access to Your PC and Files
If enabled, the computers on a home network will also be able to access each others’ local files through the wireless network. When someone else connects to your network, they will also see your computers on the network, and they may be able to access and steal sensitive files from you.
If you have private data on your computer, then you should first disable network file sharing so that this can’t occur in the first place, but you should still maintain network security. If you live in a household where files are frequently sent back and forth, being able to access computer storage through the network can save plenty of time.
Your Bandwidth is Limited
The final thing to consider is that an open network will allow plenty of other people to use your internet at the same time. If you’re trying to steam or download something, then you’ll likely notice the difference in speed if plenty of other people are using your network at the same time.
Even if you have fast enough internet for that not to be an issue, you may end up using all of your limited bandwidth for a month if someone else is using your network. This can either result in your internet speed being slowed down or it can cause you to be charged extra for the month.
There are many more reasons to keep your wifi network as secure as possible, but these are some of the most crucial ones. It doesn’t take network scanner software to find an unsecured connection, just a glance at the available networks in the area, so don’t make it easy for other people to take advantage of your internet.
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