May I Have Your Wi-Fi Password?

posted by Scot Chestnut - 

We live in a connected world, there's no doubt about that. Sometimes, I think we might be too connected. I digress... All of this staying connected requires a data connection: it started back in the 80s with dial-up internet, then transitioned into high speed internet at home, then wi-fi. And of course, the natural progression was to internet access (via cellular) on smartphones and tablets - so we can be connected anywhere.

This comes at a price - it's certainly become more affordable over time, but still has limits. If you have a data plan with a set amount of data and that runs out (which is very easy to do) before your cycle ends, you may fall back on wi-fi to connect.

Sure, there are lots of wireless "hotspots", and many businesses offer free access to customers. If you're nowhere near one of those access points, you may need to use someone's home wi-fi. And if theirs is password protected (as it should be!), you'll need to ask for the password. I always feel awkward asking... is it just me?


Here's a story about a guy who felt absolutely no shame in asking:

Last Sunday, a couple in their 60s in Palo Alto, California got woken up in the middle of the night by a burglar in their house. He was a 17-year-old guy, and he'd cut through a screen to get in.  And the reason he woke up the couple? He was out of data, and he wanted their wi-fi password.

The couple called the cops and chased him out of the house, and the police caught him a few minutes later. They connected him to another burglary the night before, where he'd also asked the people in the house if he could hop on their wi-fi. 

He didn't actually steal anything from either of the houses... but he was on a stolen bike, so the cops have him on two burglary charges and one theft charge. 

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