It is supportive but it presents risks: why you shouldn’t share your Wifi network
Crises are times when the best part of human beings is brought out. Also, the worst is true. Accustomed to a life of injustice, one feels joy in seeing at this time how neighbors and people from all walks of life help each other to curb the curve of COVID-19 coronavirus infections. In recent weeks, sharing the home Wi-Fi network among other citizens with fewer resources has been encouraged. A commendable mindset that, however, can present risks in computer security according to experts.
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At least, if the appropriate measures are not put in place, such as the creation of a Wifi network for guests. Sharing WiFi credentials uncontrollably can lead to cybercrime. Even at a political level, different citizen awareness campaigns have been carried out on social networks such as the Aragonese formation of Podemos, which is an official Twitter message said: “There are still people without Internet in Aragon, very few, but there is so that we appeal to the spirit of citizen collaboration to share our WiFi with our neighbors so that no one is offline”.
Experts consulted by this newspaper applaud this type of gesture but recommend extreme precautions to compromise the personal data of the connection holder. “To me, the possibility as a good act of solidarity seems excellent, but nevertheless from a security point of view it is not recommended because it has risks,” explains Lorenzo Martínez, a security expert at Securízame, in a telephone conversation.
In his opinion, someone who has access to a wireless network can make it fall into the hands of others and “do wrong”, with the owner of the line being responsible because the IP address is the Internet access identifier. In addition, if access is given to the connection in which the devices are owned, it may happen that a third party’s computer may be infected and “cause harm by infecting all the systems on your network” or “attack them unconsciously”.
The correct way to share it among neighbors is to create a specific wireless network for guests that enables internet access to “isolate neighbors from your home systems”, although this expert insists that this measure does not prevent it from being used the connection for malicious purposes. Another tip is to share it privately and discreetly with the person in need as another member of the family.