Networking

Wi-Fi piggybackers confess

More than half of computer users surveyed by security firm Sophos admit to having used another's Wi-Fi without permission.

Fifty-four percent of computer users admit to using someone else's Wi-Fi without permission, according to a new survey by security firm Sophos. And many Internet-enabled homes fail to secure their wireless connection properly with passwords and encryption, allowing others to steal Internet access rather than pay an ISP, said Sophos, which carried out the 560-person survey.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said borrowing Wi-Fi Internet access may feel like a victimless crime but it deprives ISPs of revenue. Furthermore, if you hop onto your next-door neighbor's wireless broadband connection to download movies and music from the Internet, chances are that you are also slowing down their Internet access and depleting their download limit, Cluley added. In addition, using an electronic communications service with the intent to avoid paying is breaking the law.

Gemma Simpson of Silicon.com reported from London.