THOUSANDS of Ipswich internet users are leaving themselves open to having their identity and bank accounts stolen because they have failed to secure their wireless networks.
Two years ago Raceview computer security expert Marc Robinson revealed in the QT that one in 10 properties had an unprotected internet connection. In 2009 that translated to 5000 properties.
But Mr Robinson, who runs Computer KnowHow, said the problem is now far worse due to the explosion in internet usage and could translate to 25,000 users.
His own recent investigation into unsecure networks unveiled “a plethora” of internet users leaving themselves open to attacks from hackers.
“I’d say that number from two years ago can conservatively be multiplied by five,” he said.
“There are so many more people with wireless networks and they are not concerned about securing their network. When there is no security at all, identity theft becomes a huge issue.
If there is no security involved not only can someone get into their system but they can get user names, passwords and identity in general.
“If they don’t have the security and someone has managed to get a keyboard logger or some sort of malicious software, as they type in their user name and password they (the hackers) have got it.
Mr Robinson said too many people set up their internet connection without following the correct protocols.
“Firstly, read the instructions,” he said.
“So many people will unbox something from Dick Smith or Harvey Norman, plug it in and fiddle with it until they have got it working rather than starting from page one and reading the basics.
Mr Robinson said basic wireless security would “only keep out honest people” so he suggested varying up passwords with upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.
“...And if you see someone parked outside your house for any length of time it pays to see what they are up to because they could be bludging off your network.”
“If there is no security then internet bills will skyrocket..”