Flip open your notebook pretty much anywhere and there's a good chance you'll come across at least one unsecured WiFi connection. Police in Queensland, Australia, are going wardriving to actively look for open WiFi connections in order to warn users about the dangers. But who's really to blame for unsecured WiFi connections?
- End users - People should learn to read the manual!
- Vendors - Secured WiFi needs to be made easier for people to set up.
- 802.11 - The WiFi standard should offer a way for people to easily secure their connections no matter what vendor supplied the equipment.
- Police - Having police wardriving about the place looking for unsecured WiFi connections is a good idea.
- No one - What's wrong with having an unsecured WiFi connection?
While the majority of unsecured WiFi connections belong to home users, businesses don't get off the hook that lightly. I've come across plenty of unsecured connections run by people who really should know better.
Several companies supplying WiFi equipment such as routers and cards have added features that make setting up a secure connection simple, but these rely on users having all the equipment supplied by one vendor, which really isn't practical for most.
Bottom line though, the problem is that setting up a secure WiFi isn't as simple as running it unsecured, and people will always choose the route of lowest resistance. This is especially so if they don't understand what can happen if they don't secure their WiFi connection.
When it comes to trade-offs between security and convenience, convenience always wins.