In Case You Need Another Reason to Secure Your Wireless Network...

posted Apr 25, 2011, 10:18 AM by Calan McConkey
As most people know, there is really no valid reason that you should allow your wireless network to be unsecured. The routers available today make the security setup very straightforward and the computer operating systems allow for the same. It takes literally a matter of minutes to do this yet many people still don't bother. When people ask me about this issue I usually inform them of the standard downsides to an unsecured network, namely, people can use your internet for free and potentially access any unsecured documents you are sharing on your computer. Well, now there is another major reason for making your network secure.

This cautionary tale comes from Buffalo, NY where a homeowner's door was busted down by federal agents. His charge? Child pornography. As everyone knows by now, the feds don't take child pornography lightly. Believing that the homeowner was downloading child porn on his computer, the federal agents stormed his house with assault weapons and forcefully restrained the accused. Problem is, the homeowner didn't do anything wrong. No really. This isn't like "To Catch A Predator" where they all have an excuse. The accused here really didn't do it.

It all comes back to what I was discussing earlier -- securing your wireless network. Apparently someone outside of the home had been accessing the network and using it to download child pornography. This violent and embarrassing situation (not to mention lots of potential legal ramifications) could have been avoided by securing the network with a simple password. It could have also been avoided if the feds would have done a little due diligence in tracing the IP address, too. But we should all know by now we can't expect them to do any sort of actual investigation before breaking in to someone's home.

Long story short, learn from the mistakes of others and secure your wireless network. Putting a simple password on your network might be what keeps armed federal agents out of your house (and, as we know from the infamous case in Columbia, MO, your dogs are not safe when armed law enforcement officers enter your house...even though they are wearing body armor and kids are in the area...better stop now before I get too hyped up about that whole ordeal).

For more information about this situation, along with a discussion about what the federal agents should be doing before they break down your door, check out BlawgIT.
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