Quick security test: Grab a laptop, a friend, and drive down a nearby street in your neighborhood. Ask your friend to turn on the laptop and look for a nearby wireless connection as you drive. Chances are good that you'll find at least one unsecured wireless connection, if not more. It's a depressing fact that many people are still ignorant or ill-informed about basic wireless security, something that the Wi-Fi Alliance hopes to address with a new awareness campaign.
In a statement from a Wi-Fi Alliance news release, Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director for the Wi-Fi Alliance, urges consumers to be smarter about wireless security. "Most consumers know that leaving their Wi-Fi network open is not a good thing, but the reality is that many have not taken the steps to protect themselves," says Davis-Felner. "Consumers can usually activate Wi-Fi security protections in a few simple steps, but much like the seat belts in your car, it won't protect you unless you use it."
Part of the aforementioned wireless security awareness campaign is a short video that employs animated characters to encourage wireless users to use Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) for their wireless networks (video below). The Wi-Fi Alliance also encourages consumers to use strong passwords, turn off automatic connecting, and never use public wireless hotspots when sending sensitive information like bank account numbers, passwords, and social security numbers.
Every system administrator has horror stories about wireless security lapses and SNAFUs, and I'd love to hear yours. Share your thoughts by adding a comment to this blog post or continuing the discussion on Twitter.