Monday, July 9, 2012

Why We Finally Secured Our Wi-Fi

Recently, I secured our new router's Wi-Fi access. It got to the point where there was just too much liability that someone could use it to do something illegal, and have it blamed on us. The last straw for me was reading the recent story about a family who got their door kicked down by a SWAT team. Apparently a neighbor used their unsecured Wi-Fi to make threats against the police. But it didn't stop this poor family from having flash-bang grenades thrown in their window. That, and with everyone so sue-happy these days, there was just too much exposure to us by leaving it open. 

Also, I'm starting a consulting company, and my political statement could have been perceived by some as as technical incompetence. A computer / software / networking expert with open Wi-Fi? Most people wouldn't understand that it was a purposeful choice.

Running open Wi-Fi is something I have always done. The true Geek philosophy embodies sharing and openness in my opinion. The Internet is supposed to be an inclusive sharing of ideas and information, not an archipelago of little islands of content (each with a toll booth.) A true Geek in my opinion will always favor more access to information, not less. And knowledge is power, right?

So ... for these reasons I have password protected our Wi-Fi. Though there is a growing movement of people suggesting that passwords be set to "free", I didn't do that. It finally got to the point where it was all risk with little reward. Besides, most people these days have Internet access. The connectivity landscape is very different from the 1998, when a guy used to park in front of our house every morning and check his email. Every morning de'd bring his newspaper, he'd drink his coffee, and he'd surf the net for a few minutes, presumably on his way to work. Back then we had bandwidth to spare, and not everyone had Internet access.

1 comment:

  1. "The true Geek philosophy embodies sharing and openness in my opinion."