Is Your Neighbour Stealing Your Wi-Fi? It’s Payback Time

wifi-leechingA few years ago, you could find unsecured Wi-Fi networks almost everywhere. Now, most people’s Wi-Fi networks are secure, but there are still a few networks I see that are still unsecure.

If you are a technology enthusiast and is sometimes bored (like me), creating an unsecure wireless network can be a little fun, especially if your neighbour has a tendency to steal your internet connection.

In my awareness campaigns of not to connect to unsecured Wi-Fi and public networks, I like to be creative. When someone connects to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, not only do they steal your internet connection, they are also opening themselves up to give you access to their computer. You can be nice to them, or be hateful to them – this just depends on how much you like them.

Before you read the rest of the article, you need to know if anyone is actually on your network stealing your internet. To find out, please read my article “How to check if someone is stealing your internet”.

Attacking Their Computer

Some of these things can be a bit mean, so please do not go overboard. Just teach them a small lesson.

Remote Desktop into their Computer

I am not going to go into depth on how to do this, but you may be able to remotely control their computer once they are connected on your network. Depending on how you do it, you will kick them off your computer or you can sneakily do it in the background. Once you are in, you have full access to their computer, just as if it was right in front of you. The computer is now your Oyster.

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Print Them A Message

If they have a shared printer, why not have a little fun using their ink. You print them a simple message telling them to get off your Wireless Network, or open up Paint, make a colourful drawing and print 1000 copies.

Reading, Modifying, Deleting Their Data

If they have shared files on their network that is open to everyone, you can access their files. You can delete their files, or rename all their files to “Hello”. Again, try to be nice, as they may also be able to do it to you as well. If you want to be mean, but nice, do something that they can easily fix, like make multiple copies of a large file to fill up their hard drive.

Being graceful by preventing their access

If you are not so computer savvy, the above methods may not be up your ally. Nevertheless, if you have an unsecured wireless network and your neighbours are using it, you should secure it.

Hide the SSID

The SSID is the name of your network. Look up your routers documentation to see if it is possible that you can hide it (most new routers can). Although it can still be found once hidden, it is one more step someone has to go through to find your network.

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Change your SSID name

One good tactic that may prevent others from connecting to your wireless network is to use a SSID or wireless network name along the lines of virus, or virus Wi-Fi. This may put off some users and prevent them from connecting. Other people have changed their SSID names to “Please be quiet in bed”,  or “We can hear you in the shower” to send messages to their neighbours. It will be a bit embarrassing for them when they give their friends access to their Wi-Fi – the messages will appear on their computers.

Use a secure encryption protocol

If you use WEP, it is not secure at all. It can be hacked in less than a minute. For the he best encryption and security you should use WPA/WPA2-PSK (Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key) and then set a strong passphrase that is hard to guess. Please read my article “How can I secure my Wi-Fi network”.

Use MAC Filtering

Each network adapter is assigned a MAC address. If you setup MAC filtering to only allow your MAC addresses to access your network, it will prevent other devices from accessing your network. Although it can be spoofed, it’s one more step for someone to gain access to your network.

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Turn WPS Off

WPS stands for Wi-Fi Protected Setup, and it has been discovered that there is a security flaw with it. With it enabled, the hacker only has to try to guess a 4 digit number – pretty simple stuff.

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Secure Your Router

For you to be able to change all of the above, you need access to your router. So if there is no password protection to the administration pages, please enable a password. Otherwise if someone does access your network, they can change all the settings to kick you out of your own home network.

Recommend Further Reading

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Image Source: Techshout

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