I was reconfiguring the wifi on my old Dell laptop this weekend and I noticed that one of my neighbors now has a wifi network too. That network was wide open, available to anyone with a wifi device. This is the default setting of most wifi routers when you take them out of the box. But this is a problem.

It’s important to protect your network. Malicious folks can employ your open network to commit internet crimes like transferring child pornography, sending massive amounts of spam, etc. These activities, if discovered by law enforcement, could be traced back to YOU.

So, add wifi security to your router by turning it on. The ones to use are WPA or WPA2. Avoid WEP because it is easy to break. You’ll have to configure your wifi devices such as laptop computers as well, with parameters and passwords to match what you set your router to. And if you want to share bandwidth with your nearby neighbors, give them the security info.