We live in the country. We have 2.3 acres. The closest neighbors are not very close.
When I bought a wireless router a year or so ago, I had a hard time setting it up and somewhere between the multiple tech support calls and restarts, the password never got set up so it's been unsecured.
But, as I said, we live in the sticks with no one nearby, so I figured we were safe from hackers and identity thieves. And we have been.
A few weeks ago, I noticed the 13 year-old neighbor kid spending a lot of time out by the mailboxes. He lives across the street from us and the boxes are side by side at the edge of their driveway, a good 75 feet from the road and over a hundred feet from our house.
Today, we learned that the kid has been using our wifi with his phone.
Husband laughed it off. I was a bit irritated. Hubby and I had a conversation.
Him: It's no different from you using a friend's wifi when we're visiting someone.
Me: It certainly is. I don't park in front of someone's house to use their wifi, I only use their network if they offer me the password.
Him: What about using free wifi at Starbucks? or a hotel? HMMM??
Me: Still not the same. At McDonalds or the 'bucks, or a hotel, it's part of the service I'm paying for.
We compromised. I'm unhooking the router for a day. Then, I'll set it up again with a password. I'll give the neighbor kid the password, but he has to come to me and ask for it. Nicely.
This seems like one of those sticky ethical dilemmas that we're experiencing, thanks to new technology.
What would you do?