Is your Wi-Fi being hacked? Signs that your neighbours are stealing your Wi-Fi!
Having a wireless network in your home is convenient, so much so that your Wi-Fi-deficient neighbours may be tempted to hop onboard. From the neighbours’ point of view, sharing your Wi-Fi signal is certainly appealing; it saves them money and frees them from the hassle of setting up and securing their own wireless networks.
From your perspective, however, having your Wi-Fi signal compromised is a real problem. Not only will those uninvited guests slow down your Wi-Fi signal, but the unauthorised activity could also compromise the security of your entire network.
So how do you know if the neighbours, or anyone else for that matter, are stealing your Wi-Fi signal? While the best way to detect unauthorised activity on your Wi-Fi network is with a special app (more on that later), there are some telltale signs and symptoms to watch out for. You should suspect Wi-Fi theft, and download a Wi-Fi activity tool, if you notice any of the following:
• A sudden slowdown in your Wi-Fi signal – The addition of unauthorised devices can split your Wi-Fi signal and bring your performance to a crawl.
• Frequent disconnections – An increase in disconnections or could be the first indication of a stolen Wi-Fi signal.
• High levels of activity on your Wi-Fi router even when no one is actively using their devices – If the lights on your modem and router are constantly blinking, someone could be stealing your signal.
• Buffering during video playback or online streaming – If you are seeing buffering where there was none before, your Wi-Fi signal may be compromised.
• An inability to connect – In extreme cases, the thieves hijacking your Wi-Fi signal may even change your password, locking you out of your own network. When that happens, your only choice may be to do a hard reset on the router and re-deploy your security settings.
If you suspect that someone is stealing your Wi-Fi signal, it is important to scan your network and find the intruders. You may think that letting the neighbours share your bandwidth is no big deal, but in fact, it puts your security at risk in a big way.
The best way to find and lock out Wi-Fi thieves is with a special app or program. Apps like Who’s On My WiFi and WiFi Inspector allow users to scan their networks for unfamiliar IP addresses, proving once and for all that those unexpected slowdowns and high activity levels are the result of unauthorised access.
There’s also the Fing network scanner app to detect intruders and immediately discover all devices connected to any Wi-Fi network.
If your scan shows that someone is indeed sharing your wireless signal, it is time to change your Wi-Fi password. Check your router manufacturer’s website for specific instructions on how to change your password and lock down your network – and be sure to do periodic scans to make sure those unwanted visitors are truly gone.
Read our other blog on how to create a strong and secure password for your network.