Password, Please

How many times have you been asked the above question? Can you even keep count? Nearly every house guest who spends more than a few hours with you will likely ask to gain access to your internet. Most of those guests you can trust completely, but how well do you really know all of your friends, relations, and acquaintances that ask for your Wi-Fi password. Although it is unlikely, it is important to recognize that anything that your guest do that is unlawful, like illegally downloading music and movies, can bring cops to your door.

Recently in California, this scenario played out after law enforcement scored a hit while monitoring peer-to-peer file-sharing networks for possible child pornography files. When the search team showed up at the subscriber’s address they couldn’t find any child pornography. Later the investigation turned up a suspect that had access to the Wi-Fi network. Examination of the suspect’s machine uncovered hard evidence that he was using the subscribers Wi-Fi to view videos and pictures that depicted child pornography.

Being asked for a Wi-Fi password is a common occurrence these days. As a host, what can you do? You have the option of not giving out your password, but how rude and awkward would that seem? With guests that are close family and friends that you can trust, you probably don’t need to stress too much. For now, internet subscribers can take comfort in the fact that such cases of Internet abuse remain relatively rare. If you have those friends, relations, and acquaintances who ask for your Wi-Fi password that you are unsure of, there are ways to set up secondary guest networks and take other security and control measures that you should take advantage of.

The important thing to take away from this warning is not that every single person that gains access to your Wi-Fi network will do illegal things, but instead to bring awareness to the matter. The next time you hear the question, “Password, please?” you will have the necessary knowledge you need to make an educated decision.

·         Be aware that giving your password to others can impact your life in a big way
·         Be conscious of whom you are providing your password
·         Take the necessary steps to protect your network and yourself from legal repercussions

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