PC Doctor October 10, 2014

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Dear PC Doctor:

I have wireless internet at home.  Do I need to password protect it?  What’s the harm in leaving it unsecured and letting my neighbors use it?  Is there anything else I should know?

      Sincerely, Deborah

Dear Deborah:

Good question!  Your neighbors are nice people; what difference does it make if they use your wireless connection every now and then?

Well, to start, the more devices that use your wireless connection at any given time, the slower your connection will be.  If your neighbors and their kids and guests are using your wireless, it may take a noticeably longer time for your e-mail to load, and the connection may slow down enough to prevent you from watching any videos or working with larger files.

Of greater concern is that, should your neighbor use your wireless to access illegal material (copyrighted content, child pornography, or “dark web” drug sites), it will initially be traced to the owner of the wireless (you), not your neighbor!  Once the police seize your computers, tablets, and phones and analyze them, they’ll be able to tell it wasn’t you, but a simple strong password can help you avoid the whole situation!

So, add a password to your wireless access!  Your router should have come with instructions for doing so.  If you no longer have the instructions, look up your model number on the manufacturer’s website.  Instructions should be there.

Until next time … Happy Computing!

      PC Doctor