Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

Summary: Neighbors. What can you do about them?

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Neighbors. What can you do about them? To those of us in homes, neighbors are a relatively easily defined group of people. There's the police officer that lives next door, there's the police officer that lives across the street, there's the judge who lives three doors down.

True story. That's actually my neighborhood.

But I haven't forgotten the days when I lived in apartments and dorms. Of course, when I lived in consolidated housing, we didn't have WiFi. We didn't even have the Internet. Yes. Sigh. We did have cars. It wasn't that long ago.

Today though, most of our neighbors are Internet-savvy. Most of our neighbors have WiFi (some day, when you're out, make sure to thank the guy down the street who keeps his router unprotected).

So what do you do if you want to tell your neighbors something? Say you want to describe something in a few words (like a short tweet), but address it only to the few people who live within shouting distance of you?

It turns out some Swedes have figured out a new way to communicate: using their router's SSID. Yep, according to a report in The Local, when a Swede wants to tell his neighbor "Thank you for not smoking on the balcony," "Pay for your own Internet, you stupid neighbor", "Remove the fluff from the filter" (as in laundry filters), the way to do it is changing your SSID.

So there you go. If you don't want to talk to your neighbors, but still get your message across, consider changing your SSID to something pithy like "If you have extra chocolate, please leave it in the lobby."

Topics: Browser, Mobility, Networking, Wi-Fi, Social Enterprise

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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33 comments
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  • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

    Dang, my ssid is JungleJim. Wonder what that tells my neighbors.

    Don't worry, it's wpa2-psk encryption. And I used a random password generator using numeric and letters(upper/lower) as my pass phrase.
    DanLM
    • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

      @DanLM Lol, I could change it to "IHateLiberals".
      DanLM
      • RE: "I could change it to "IHateLiberals""

        @DanLM you could change it to whatever you like to express your lovableness... and your binary view of the world.
        pvandck
      • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

        @DanLM Hey that's a good idea. I think I'll change mine to "IHateNeoconsandTeabaggers".
        blueskip
      • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

        @blueskip
        Ever notice that individuals that hate liberal politics the most are the ones that came from liberal areas?
        Ever wonder why?

        Could it be they seen the waste and corruption first hand?
        DanLM
      • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

        @DanLM ... "Hate" is a strong word. Since you've decided to publicly declare your hatreds, I know you'll appreciate being banned from being read at this station, which I own. I make it a habit to do such things for people I hate; keeps me from hunting them down.
        twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988
  • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

    Too funny!
    sackbut
  • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

    Hmmm I just found a use for old routers.
    Richardbz
    • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

      @Richard B
      Nice one Richard. That is a brilliant idea. = )
      Splunge
    • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

      @Richard B Now THAT is an awesome idea!!! I'll be digging some old ones out soon! lol
      blueskip
  • Who broadcasts their SSID!?

    I haven't done that for years. We all know encryption is easily broken but that's only if they can find you. I can get on my neighbor's WPA encrypted router any time. He doesn't even know mine exists. To me, not broadcasting is more important than encryption.
    20kwfence
    • (ring, ring) Bluff

      @20kwfence

      If you can/do/have cracked your neighbor's wifi (wpa at that), you should know that not broadcasting SSID doesn't make a difference. It only adds a couple of more steps to the hack process. That is, unless you're not broadcasting your BSSID as well?
      SonofaSailor
    • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

      @20kwfence
      There was a blog on here some time ago, I forget who wrote it but it declared that hiding your SSID is actually LESS secure. For one, simple free apps can find it anyway. Secondly, if devices need to access your router then they will need to BROADCAST the SSID. Now think of the poor sap at Starbucks with his laptop propped up while he is sipping a latte and reading an e-book. Now his laptop is looking for wireless and BROADCASTING the SSID of every hidden WAP it knows about!

      Now that is secure how?
      Freddy McGriff
  • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

    My daughter lives in an apartment complex where one of her neighbors has and SSID that makes it quite clear how he/she feels about sharing his connection. It reads "Mine Bitch"
    aprayzr1
  • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

    One of my neighbors has his named "I'm Stealing Your Internet" but it's encrypted, so it's one we can't "borrow".
    pwoodruff@...
  • passiveaggressivenotes.com covered this YEARS ago.

    http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/2007/11/07/why-fi/
    http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/2009/12/30/wifi-for-passive-aggressives/
    matthew_maurice
    • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

      @matthew_maurice Nice find; pro'lly made David blush for being 2 to 3 years behind schedule on posting this article <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink">
      jedikitty@...
  • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

    start a neibourhood chat room and broadcast it's location in the SSID.
    m3kw9
  • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

    .
    bryan.ewing@...
  • RE: Use your router's SSID, not Twitter, to whine to your neighbors

    Did a Puzzle Geocache where a SSID was used to broadcast the final coordinates. Took me a second to figure out what I was looking at.

    Might try this when I get home. I'm moving to a townhouse this month and I'd love to tell loud, smoky guy in my condo what I think of him.
    maskman01