Posted on August 5, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer


Mashable has a post this week listing funny names that people have given their wi-fi connections, for the amusement (and hopefully to deter) would-be wi-fi squatters.  If you have a wireless connection in your home for your laptop or mobile devices, you are vulnerable to people in the area using your wi-fi. Why? Maybe they just don't want to pay for their own home wi-fi connection.  Maybe they're travelling and just temporarily "borrowing" yours.  Maybe they want to do something illegal, and they would prefer that if they get caught, law enforcement would track the activity back to your address rather than yours.


Yes, you can secure it, but that security has its limits, and usually, even if they can't use your wi-fi they can see whatever name you've given it.  So please don't name it with your family's last name.  Some of the alternate names listed in Mashable's article are: Use this one Mom, Pretty fly for a wi-fi, No free wi-fi for you, and Free Virus.  Commenters on the article have used the names Free Virus, Don't Steal my Internet, and No Signal, among others.


Your wireless connection is not the only place your sense of humor can make a potentially stressful situation more fun (at least for you).  I know of people who use messages similar to those above as passwords (be sure to add extra characters and replace some of the letters with numbers if you choose to do this to make the passwords harder to guess).  Who knows, it might make a hacker think twice about messing with someone who has left him a nice little message.  With any luck, he  might just move on to a more unsuspecting target.  I wouldn't count on this, though - you still need to make sure you have your firewall and anti-virus protection up-to-date, and only surf sites you know you can trust.


Finally, another good place to consider applying your wit and wisdom is to those annoying "security questions," that all fo the financial institutions and some social networks now require you to answer just to access your own stuff.  If you answer these with the REAL name of your first dog, the REAL make and model of your first car, or your grandmother's maiden name, then a lot of people are potentially going to have access to that information.  Plus, most financial hackers stay pretty close to home, so it is likely that someone who knew you well could answer those questions, anyway.  Instead, make up answers to these questions that would be hard for someone to guess, but  that amuse you enough that you'll be able to remember them the next time you need to access these sites.  For example, maybe your first boyfriend's name was "Muddd."  No, don't use that - that's mine!  ;-)


Have a great weekend!

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