It’s on a Thursday afternoon, and you are on your couch thinking on how to watch the next episode of your favorite online TV show since your internet subscription expired. On your device, you decide to take a glance at the available WI-FI networks near you. Surprisingly, there are two networks without a password, and one is having an internet connection. The thought of accessing this free Wi-Fi is exciting and the fact that you don’t have to move from your own house to get it is even euphoric. In this state, you will quickly forget all the risks you are about to be exposed to just to watch your favorite show. Below are reasons why you shouldn’t use your neighbor’s free WI-FI. Let’s start with using somebody’s internet service without consent is referred to as stealing and that’s an illegal act.
Even if the internet subscription in your area is cheap, no one will offer it for free unless it’s in designated public places. So, before using your neighbor’s free Wi-Fi, think again, chances are, they forgot to put a password or even worse, it’s a trap. You might know your neighbor’s offline behavior and character, but when it comes to online matters, your neighbor might be a cybercriminal.
Setting a fake free Wi-Fi is one of the techniques attackers use to lure their victims. Since they are in charge of the free Wi-Fi, they almost see everything, and they might control some resources such as popular websites through spoofing. Most attackers know individuals will at one point sign into their social media accounts or financial accounts. By intercepting your internet traffic, an attacker can then have your credentials and hence use them to gain access to your accounts. An attacker can then perform more malicious attacks such as identity fraud and even blackmail you.
Given the fact that your neighbor has put up a free Wi-Fi connection that anyone can connect to, chances are, he/she doesn’t care much about cybersecurity issues. This also applies to anyone who connects to it. This means you will be taking extra care to maintain your security and chances are the other guys who have connected to it might try to access your info.
Still, on the zero-security issue, you cannot tell who else is connected to your neighbours free Wi-Fi. It’s like a party, and if there’s no one with malicious intent, there must be someone who might compromise everybody’s security. For instance, your neighbor’s Wi-Fi might be harbouring a malware waiting for activation. It will only take a single person to access the files on the network and accidentally activate the malware. Once activated, the malware can then hop and infect all the devices connected to that Wi-Fi.
Even if we assume that your neighbour’s free Wi-Fi is secure, you will still experience other disadvantages. For instance, you will have to use the speed your neighbor has subscribed to. Even if it’s fast, it won’t be long for other neighbours to discover the free Wi-Fi honeypot. As more devices connect to it, the speed will eventually degrade, and it won’t be worth it anymore.
Similar to free public Wi-Fi, if you have to connect to your neighbor’s Wi-Fi, ensure you are using a VPN. A VPN will encrypt your internet traffic, and this will ensure prying eyes won’t get access to your details. Also, ensure you have an up to date antivirus. Lastly, its illegal to use your neighbor’s Wi-Fi, so don’t.