Unsecured Network Consequences
The actual installation of a Linksys home or office wireless network is relatively straight forward. Once the actual hard wired cabling between the router and the modem is installed, remote computers with an 802.11 adapter will recognize the network and offer a point and click option for connection.
Unfortunately many home and small office administrators neglect a critical aspect of the process in failing to secure the network from a potential unwanted intrusion. The consequence of ignoring implementation of these critical security measures can often be severe.
An unsecured network is essentially an open invitation for bandwidth thieves and serious computer criminals. Without protection, the network will be detected by anyone with a wi-fi capable computer within the signal range. Connection is only a matter of a few mouse clicks, and the intruder can share the same network with the computers in the home or office.
In its most innocuous form, these broadband burglars simply tap into available connections to use the Internet without having to pay for it. There is no direct damage suffered by the network except for the possibility of degraded download speeds as well as additional bandwidth usage charges if the service is metered.
However, there are far more serious possible consequences for the unsuspecting unsecured network administrator who experiences a sophisticated malicious attack. Adept technophiles or “hackers" as they are sometimes called, can disrupt an operating system, download illegal material, plant viruses, and steal bank account or credit card information, all hidden behind the IP address of the victim.
Criminal activity will be traced back from the Internet Service Provider to the individual account holder. Depending on the severity of the cyber crime, the innocent victim can potentially find themselves spending significant time and resources restoring their computer system, finances, identity, and good name.