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Chapter 2. PRIVACY AT HOME > HOME SWEET NETWORKS

HOME SWEET NETWORKS

Stop WiFi Drive Bys

The Annoyance:

My home wireless network has been acting funky and some of the settings seem to be changed. What's going on?

The Fix:

You could be a victim of drive-by hacking. Freeloaders may be taking a joyride on your home network, accessing the Net via your wireless connection or worse, pawing through your system. Keep in mind that a WiFi setup uses radio signals to broadcast data up to 500 feet from the router, which means a network you set up in your home office can easily extend into the street outside your house. In fact, seeking out unprotected WiFi networks—called wardriving—has become a favorite pastime of some geeks (see http://www.wardriving.com). A recent survey of some 225,000 home WiFi networks by WorldWideWardrive.com found more than 60 percent were completely wide open. Talk about an entrèe for freeloaders and hackers!


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