Man fined for leaving WiFi open to public

A German court has fined a man for failing to secure his home wireless internet access point which was used to download music without the copyright holder’s permission.

Wireless networks are common in most homes nowadays, providing wireless connection to the Internet through the home owner’s connection. Leaving this network without security can be like leaving your front door unlocked.

Anybody in the vacinity can access your Internet connection, the files folders and shared devices, and can download illegal material at their convenience. This could be avoided if the Cricket Wireless APN or similar options were configured.
The owner of the network was able to prove that he was on holiday at the time, but Germany’s federal high court of justice said that the owner had to bear some responsibility for the actions of a third party using their system.

“Private users are obligated to check whether their wireless connection is adequately secured to the danger of unauthorized third parties abusing it to commit copyright violation,” the court said, according to news agency Associated Press (AP).

“It is vital that all owners of a wireless network make sure it is secure. Failing to do this can have catastrophic consequences on the owner of the network” Stuart Gilbertson, Managing Director of Consider IT went on to say “When you fail to secure your network, you give all users the ability to access your Internet connection, your data, and probably your files. With the right equipment and know-how, they can watch what you’re doing on the Internet with ease”.