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Shock Horror – The UK Is A Nation Of Wi-Fi Thieves

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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One in three Brits admits to Wi-Fi theft, Hyperoptic survey finds

If you’re finding that your home Wi-Fi signal has been a bit slow recently, don’t blame the networks – it could well be your neighbours stealing your internet.

A survey by broadband provider Hyperoptic has revealed that one third of us admit to stealing Wi-Fi from our neighbours in an attempt to get online. Londoners were shamed as being the worst offenders, with over half (53 percent) admitting to successfully ‘borrowing’ their neighbours’ connections – although 60 percent claimed they’d attempted to do so.

Slow connections were named as the major reason behind neighbourly hacking, with 34 percent of those surveyed claiming a shortfall in bandwidth as the motive.

wi-fi thief steal ©wavebreakmedia / shutterstock.comStop thief

The study also shows that we need to put more care into securing our home networks, as almost a third (29 percent) of those surveyed admitted attempting access to protected Wi-Fi networks by guessing other people’s passwords.

This figure was particularly high in London, where nearly half (47 percent) admitted that they’d guessed common passwords subjects such as dates of birth, pets’ names and even license plate numbers.

“It’s a shock to discover so many people admitting to ‘borrowing’ their neighbours’ broadband,” said Dana Tobak, managing director of Hyperoptic.

“Many customers of standard broadband already battle with a slow and unreliable service that doesn’t allow everyone in the home to make the most of the internet at the same time, let alone carry unwanted surfers sneaking on to the network.

“As life becomes increasingly digitised, the need for broadband reliability – and for speed – cannot be ignored.”

Hyperoptic currently supplies 1Gbps fibre to the premise (FTTP) internet connections to over 75,000 customers throughout the UK. It is one of 500 suppliers signed up to the Super Connected cities voucher scheme, which invites SMBs in 22 cities across the UK to apply for grants worth up to £3,000 for the installation of superfast broadband.

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