A moral dilemma, need some advice

  WhiteTruckMan 21:23 26 Feb 2007

I've been throwing together a computer for a family member and doing the assembly in the garage at the rear of my house. Came this evening when I temporarily dropped in a wireless card to run updates etc from my connection, I was a bit surprised when I hit the scan button to find 7 available networks (including my own). Mine was the only one with wep, all the rest were open. 3 of them even had the house address as the name!

Here's the dilemma: Do I knock on their doors and inform them of the risk to their network, and run the risk of accusations of snooping etc, or should I just let them alone along the lines of ignorance is bliss. I might add that two of them are strangers and the third (of those I can identify) I only wave to in passing.

What do you think?


  anskyber 21:38 26 Feb 2007

Tough one.

On the principle that not everyone will be aware of the risk then perhaps the good Samaritan approach is right. They may not be aware; you are obviously articulate enough to explain things in a way which will convince them you are not snooping.

Do you think they will pass the thump you test? a black eye is a risk!

  wiz-king 21:39 26 Feb 2007

I think it is your 'duty' as a reponsible citizen to tell them - once - and explain the trouble it could get them in, then forget about it.

  Ho-Lin-Sok 21:39 26 Feb 2007

As long as you do not connect to them deliberately I would let them get on with it. If they can't be arsed to protect their networks then it's up to them. You can choose a suitable channel for yourself if you can see all the others.

  laurie53 21:45 26 Feb 2007

You're being a bit hard.

Networks are relatively easy to set up these days and WM's neighbours might not have much computer expertise, rather than just not being arsed


  Ho-Lin-Sok 22:00 26 Feb 2007

You could always drop them a postcard anonymously as you have some addresses

  rodriguez 22:11 26 Feb 2007

I'd tell them - just go round and say that when you connected to your network, theirs popped up as well. Explain the security risks then offer to set the security up if they don't know how to do it. Then just say you'll do it for free - I would, I can't see the point in charging money for a 5 minute job and a couple of mouse clicks.

  Z1100 22:18 26 Feb 2007

Because that is what you may end up doing if you are a bit like me. If they asked me I would find it hard to refuse them after telling them.

I would leave them to it.


  RichMc2 22:21 26 Feb 2007

If you shovel snow off your drive and whats left freezes YOU can be sued for injury. If you inform these people of there stupidity in non secure wireless networks YOU are liable if they get hacked, it's insane but true.

  Probabilitydrive 22:24 26 Feb 2007

As a good netizen it is only a choice between the HOW to inform not the IF....

Ignorance is bliss but as I am witnessing time and time again in this forum, the fallout can be severe and in the end the more knowledgeable guys here are asked to deal with it. Be it in form of advising about hacking..spy ware..viruses, etc., you name it there is a question about it (and normally a very helpful answer).

I would drop them a postcard, maybe even with a couple of useful web-sites how to secure ones network.

  Strawballs 22:29 26 Feb 2007

Every unsecured network is a possible point for perverts with a laptop and a car to download whatever they want and not get caught because the authorities will only be able to trace it back to the router and they will be long gone.

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