Wardriving is back in the news. It seems that the news outlets are only just now (re)discovering what wardrivers have known for ages: war driving is hot. It’s more than just the brute desire for open access to someone else’s computer network, their Internet connection, or even their personal information which drives wardriving (although these are certainly a large part of it). It’s also the thrill of the game.
Put simply, wardrivers get a cheap thrill from finding and exploiting your unprotected wifi connection – because they can. There are entire websites dedicated to mapping the fruits of wardriving, allowing their users to jack into free wifi from almost anywhere they may be.
[For those of you who are scratching your heads, wardriving is, simply put, the act of driving around a neighborhood with a wifi-enabled laptop or PDA, looking for and mapping any open wireless connections to the Internet.]
So what can you do to help secure your wireless connection, and make sure that it isn’t wardriven into the ground?
First and foremost, be sure that you have at least WEP encryption set on your router – if your router offers something even more robust then WEP, all the better. But at a minimum, your wireless router should be WEP-enabled. Also be sure to change the password your router came with, and don’t broadcast your SSID to the world.
Some people even recommend actually turning your wifi router off when you are not using it which, you know, isn’t necessarily a bad idea.
Whatever you do, don’t sit back complacently thinking that it can’t happen to you. Because if your wifi is unsecure, it can, it will, and it quite possibly already has.
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