It is always best policy to secure your wireless network, but whenever you scan for a Wi-Fi connection in a public place you usually find at least one open network. So why do people choose to leave their networks unsecured? Likely, they’re thinking that, “It won’t bother me if someone uses my connection,” or they’re just too lazy to set it up, seeing unsecured connections as harmless, or even benevolent to others.
This post is about an incident where an unsecured network proved to be anything but harmless; almost getting an innocent man thrown in prison for something he didn’t do.
In Buffalo, N.Y., a man awoke in the early morning hours to agents storming into his house and arresting him for downloading thousands of pornographic imagesof children. The catch was, he never downloaded any child porn, a fact which was discovered by the agents a few days later when they searched all of his digital devices, including his iPhone and iPad.
So how did the agents come to the false conclusion that this man was the perpetrator? They tracked down the IP address that was downloading all of the images and then connected that IP address to a router and an Internet service provider, which gave up the man’s name.
Since the Buffalo man didn’t have his Wi-Fi network secured with a password, it was open for everyone to use and download what they wished, including the child pornography images that the agents traced. Turns out it was his neighbor, 25-year-old John Luchetti, that was responsible for the downloading the despicable material.
To keep yourself safe from being blamed for something you didn’t do or download, you have to make sure your Wi-Fi network is secured. Make that password tough to crack, and always be careful with whom you share your personal information.