questionsdo people still hijack their neighbor's…

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Yes, people still hijack and piggyback, although is seems to mostly happen in apartments from what I hear. if you can easily figure out who, it would be nice to let them know, but sometimes you can't fix careless.

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Yes, I'm sure that it still goes on but I pay my own way.....with cash. Getting a signal from a neighbor seems to me like theft, and homey don't play dat.

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Some communities near me actually have FREE WiFi for everyone! How cool is that?

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@dealseekerdude: Not cool for me at all since I don't live near there. lol

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Do bears still (profanity) in the woods?

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Only when I'm researching something illegal (ie, "How do get rid of a body")

Poor guy. If someone ever suspects him of anything, he's going away for a LONG time.

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Maybe, but that's why I've got mine protected.

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I have done it when my internet has gone down for a temp basis until I am back up and running.

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I left mine unencrypted for awhile because my neighbors are pretty down and out and just got their first computer. They needed to save money for a deposit to get internet so I let them leach off me. I knew they wouldnt understand how to log in with a password since they are technologically challenged. I kept limited users so that only one extra person could be on besides us. Once they got their own net I found that the renters next to me were on my net. I knew it was them because I had access to their files. I tried asking them to stay off unless they asked. They ignored me. I finally blocked it all. They moved two weeks later. I dont mind sharing as long as people ask. Thieves get shut out though.

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Oh definitely. My parents got a new router after theirs friend a year or so ago. After a while, they noticed someone who came and sat in his car in the turnabout day after day. Eventually my dad went and asked him what he was doing, and they guy was using "someone's unprotected wifi" which was theirs.

Always want to keep your wifi encrypted. The overly paranoid reasoning is that someone can do something illegal on your network and then boom, red flag is raised against you for something you didn't do. The slightly more rational reason is that more people on your network bogs down your connection.

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@dealseekerdude: They tried it here and got shut down. The state apparently didn't want to hurt the cable companies' business. I smell a rat. I mean a lobbyist.

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Definitely still common. A couple of my friends have been piggybacking on one of their neighbor's unencrypted wifi since they moved in 3 years ago. And considering the fact that they live in a pretty densely populated area and most people know better than to leave their wifi network open, I'm sure they aren't the only ones who are enjoying the pleasures of a free internet connection at this apparently clueless guy's expense.

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@iggz: Not since they've figured out how to use the handles on port-a-potties they don't.

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I did till my mom encrypted hers. What nerve. I thought it came with the free rent!

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Mine wasn't until the people across the street asked me to do it because although they locked their computer up at 11 p.m. their teenage son was up until all hours evidently using mine. I did encrypt it, but I couldn't help wondering why I had to be the discipline for THEIR kid.

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I work at Radio Shack and I get people coming in all the time wanting something to boost the wifi signal they are getting. Upon further quetioning, I figure out they are stealing wifi from a neighbor. I try not to help them after that. I wouldn't want someone stealing my bandwidth. Even worse, stealing my bandwidth to do something illegal.

If you can afford stuff to make the stolen wifi stronger, you can afford your own connection.

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Yes, we piggy-backed off a neighbor's open wifi while renting a place short term a few years ago. It was great. Then we moved and set up our own and I left it open for awhile, figured it was good karma to let our neighbors mooch off of us for awhile. Was fine until one weekend my kid reset the modem and I was lazy and didn't fix it right away - until some jack@$$ reset my password and locked me out. LOL! That'll teach me to be nice.

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I'm going to ask a naive question, since I just got my wifi set up a few months ago. All I did was follow the instructions on the Netgear router, which said not to change the name ("Netgear), and use the password that was on the unit. I've done both those things. Am I 'encrypted'? I do notice when I'm signing on with a new device I'll get a list of a few other routers. One of my neighbor's has their names listed, so I know whose it is. The other is another "Netgear" with just a different number after it than mine. Should I be doing something more to protect myself? Thanks for any help and sorry to ask a question rather than provide an answer, although I'm sure knowing human nature, if it's possible some people will do it.

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For the first 6 months we stole wifi from the leasing office at our apartment complex and it was great, they started shutting it down at 6pm for some reason, I now have my own ISP and I feel like such a grown up!

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Most certainly they do. Shortly after my wife and I moved into our apartment a few years ago, we realized we had forgotten to block/lock down our wi-fi. I think we had two people at one point trying to piggy back on ours at one point.

After we initially blocked it, occasionally we would get connection slow downs. My wife (being the comp-sci physics major) found out it was likely the same people trying to hack in our wifi so they could use it again.

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I don't and I have an encrypted signal, along with my network's SSID being SKYNET to hopefully ward off anybody who doesn't wanna piss off the Terminators. My aunt leaves hers open though, because she lives in a small town and knows her neighbors well enough to trust them.

@palady: Do you have to enter a password every time you try to log on with a new device? If so, then you're encrypted. If not, then your Wi-fi network is unencrypted. You can fix the problem by going here.

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@palady: You can set up your router so that it requires a password to connect. In most cases, that will be enough to keep other people out. There is such thing as WPA-2 encryption and that's better. Even better? Set up your router so it blocks an MAC address that's not listed in your registry. Then your router won't even show up for anyone that isn't listed.

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Sometimes. It really depends where you live, according to my experience.

When you live in a neighborhood that consists of only single houses, odds of finding an open WiFi is slim.

When you live in a place like an apartment, odds of finding an open WiFi is greater because almost every unit would probably have a router and you would be in-range to the signal.

It really sucks for the person who forgot to add a password, maybe because of how complicated it may be for the person.

I've piggy-backed to strangers once until they moved out, I still kind of regretted it.

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I live near a substation in LA- which means I get lots of little glitches, brownouts, whiteouts and big massive humming things in my electrical service. Many times when this happens my D-link wireless router loses all settings and resets itself to default- which means everybody's welcome. I don't know who Isodora is but she's always the first one in, and she's always working. And yes I live in a mass of apartments, so when my service gets slow I know I gotta reset my router again.
This last time service was out for an hour- with lots of fits and fizzles. My DVR was frazzled (reboot), and I also had to reset the cable modem and the router to get everything, including my phone, to work. By the time I got back from resetting my neighbor's service (it had also tripped his main breaker) Isadora was already downloading.

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@captainsuperdawg: Yes, although I think I forgot to set up the computer. I set up some other devices, but then the computer sort of set itself up. I didn't even realize the computer was connecting via airport until I started getting messages periodically about signing in with my password. But then it would just work, even tho' I hadn't signed in. I disconnected the ethernet and it still worked. At any rate, it sounds like I need to make sure the computer is secure. Thanks for the link!

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@palady: you are not. go into the router from a hardwired comp (192.168.1.1)
go into security and set up a passphrase.

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@syninthecity: I'm starting to understand that from reading the replies. Hats off to who asked this question (sorry I can't remember your name right now!). You may have saved me from some real headaches, although I fortunately live in a small neighborhood (houses) and know most of my neighbors well. Doesn't mean much these days, though!

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I always leave my network unencrypted. My router is secure, but I don't mind my neighbors piggybacking on me. I set their priority to low, so they don't take too much of my bandwidth, but otherwise I'm happy to let them have at it. I'm a proponent of ubiquitous wireless, and until that's closer to realization, I'll probably keep mine unlocked. Right now I have 34 taggers-on, although most of those are tablets and phones and game systems probably.

I recognize the risks, but judge them to be rather minute. Nobody can get at my signal from the street, and none of my neighbors are like to hack into my private stuff. I don't know what legal precedent exists for unencrypted signals, though. Have their been any cases where the defense was that the signal was unencrypted, and that actually weakened the charge of piracy or whatever? My understanding of the old Napster cases were that the kids doing the downloading were the ones actually sued, not the account holder at the ISP.

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I did when I moved into a new place many years ago and I would still do it if I was in a pinch, i.e. geocaching and couldn't get any cell signal!

As a side note any wep or wpa are susceptible to entry. Usually within seconds you can get into a wep secure wifi network. WPA requires a device to transmit as well as your own wifi device to ping the router. It can take about 24 hours to break in. So even if you are WPA/2 protected, which it should be either way, make sure to check your Mac addresses and names to see if every device is yours.

Again I don't recommend ANYONE have an unsecured device, you should MAC filter and WPA2 encrypt. I can go and see everything you do or what you have on your computer if I am on your unsecured router.

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Quite a few people share their wifi on purpose and leave it open expressly for others to use.

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I've hopped on, browsed shares, and upon finding a telltale mac of a printer - have printed things such as "i printed this from across the street - secure your wifi!"

USUALLY works.

This is akin to leaving your car doors unlocked (for those of us in cities at least) - the victim is as much to blame as the criminal for creating the opportunity - and MORE importantly, the likelihood of non security. The same mentality that had punks peeking in car windows to find the open doors has shifted to networks. With most cars having keyless entry and locking now - the open-door robberies have dropped -with less opportunity, comes fewer opportunists.

IF they leave their network open on purpose, then its a reasonable assumption that its for others to use (or it's a honeypot) - If they've left it open out of ignorance, i rarely allow ignorance as an excuse for anything else in life, why start with computer security? (again, i'm not talking big efforts, but even the slightest attempt)

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and for goodness sake - PLEASE change your router login from admin/admin. It's tiring.

A lot of ISP's who provide routers are shipping them with randomly generated usernames/passwords... usually the password for the router matches the wep key, which is already enabled. Not fool proof, but better than nothing. Anyone who intentionally bypasses these obviously wants outsiders on their network - so no need to feel guilty.

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The point is that if you can they are too lazy to fix it.

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gidgaf,
The only way to take care of opportunistic parasites like isadora is to purchase a UPS - if only for your router. Even a small one should have enough stored power to power your router through any glitch.

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goatcrapp
The victim is NEVER "as much to blame as the criminal for creating the opportunity". Crooks are predators and VICTIMIZERS. They and they alone bear sole blame for their actions. If I forget to lock my car doors I commit no crime - I should not HAVE to lock my doors! The person who enters my vehicle and takes my belongings commits a crime - burglary of a vehicle in Texas - and deserves punishment. Criminals will be criminals whether I provide them an opportunity to commit a criminal act or not. If my oversight provides them with a temptation then it also provides the opportunity to RESIST said temptation and thus grow spiritually.

It is leftist, neo-liberal nonsense that has gotten us into the mess we are in now. The People's Republik of Kalifornia is a shining example of the results of neo-liberal policies.

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@rprebel: Ahahahahaha. "Buy your own and it will work great!"

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@cyborgbill: You had me...until the second paragraph.

@jha1223: Yeah, that was a lot of fun to watch live. We were going nuts in the chat, LOLs and ROFLs everywhere. That moment, when he realizes what's actually going on with "her" wifi, is priceless.

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@cyborgbill: I agree- I need a UPS. I need about three, actually, or just one great big one. This crapola happens enough to justify it- but I keep saying I'm going to move.
And about the leftist Kalifornia folk- it's both. You get far enough leftist or rightist leanings, and you got the same people doing the same thing. In LA we have the Red team actively trying to arrest people with Pringle antennae, open wifi hotspots, or sharing product between apartments. They are very adamant and aggressive about leaning on folk just in case you may be doing a deed that could possibly be able to deny a large corp taking money from you. My ISP sent out notices that it is the account holders that are responsible for all possible violations- even if we had no knowledge of the deed, the law or the violation. Or that their basic install leaves an open hotspot in your name, with no instructions or warnings. I can see five others with just open box defaults from here: I get tempted to fix it for them.

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AHH! Addendum
With my D-links, I've also found that with the newest firmwares the newish Opera and older Mozilla products won't save your settings. You go thru all the motions, it looks good, but no joy happens. Try it: update, reboot, reset the router settings, save and reboot, and then open your router again. Gong! Didn't save. You thought you fixed it. You went back online with your very own open hotspot.

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@cyborgbill: Loved your first paragraph, but you lost credibility with your second-paragraph rant. If you think "neo-liberals" believe blame is shared by both victim and perp, you don't know many liberals, neo or otherwise.

Oddly enough, though, my personal observations are that it's the [cough] conservative family-values crowd that is quickest to blame rape victims and gays for being attacked. Some folks hold tight to a significantly different view of who's at fault in property-related crimes as compared to sexual/sexual orientation attacks. But that's a issue for discussion in a different venue, I think.

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I do when I download bootleg cams of movies that are still in theaters. No way I am going to jail for that.

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@magic cave: the crowd you speak of generally believes that people should use common sense, and that stupid should hurt... Walking around a bad neighborhood waving a stack of 20's around, and then get mugged? Meh, you did something stupid and learned a lesson. They're generally against people who put themselves into bad situations wanting to blame everyone EXCEPT themselves for what happened, and who generally don't accept responsibility for any of their own bad behaviors.

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You know, I used to keep my wifi signal free, until all of the lawsuits from the RIAA, and
Child porn raids...It's just too friggin risky to leave it unsecured, without some kind of legal cover, which will never happen.