Special Report: Wifi- Wired for Theft Part 1 - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Special Report: Wifi- Wired for Theft Part 1

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We all remember the days of AOL dial-up, and the moment anticipation met satisfaction.

"Welcome, you've got mail," says the voice of gratification.

In the 90's, America Online was your portal to the world. Now, that annoying buzzing sound is replaced with silence. AND NOW THAT ANNOYING BUZZING SOUND IS REPLACED WITH SILENCE.

Nowadays, it's all about instant gratification. You're connected to the Internet in the blink of an eye. Wireless routers and slim looking tablets are replacing cords and massive desk tops. 

Everywhere you look are iPads, Nooks, and kindle fires. Not to mention all of your mobile devices. Most, if not all, are hooking up to something you can't see -- wireless Internet.

Corey: "How would you explain wireless to somebody?"

Wireless network is basically being able to access the Internet without having to be connected to land line or having any wires or anything like that," said a Homeland Security Agent. For integrity reasons, News13 will identify him as Agent X for this story.

Corey: "So, you can't see it?"

"Exactly," said Agent X.

People flood coffee shops, restaurants, or libraries just to gain access.

Corey: "So there is a ton of people here and most of them come to Starbucks for that very reason?

"Yes," said Agent X.

Chase McVay finds solace at places like Panera Bread to get Internet.

"I'm working on an online internship," said McVay.

Corey: "So, you're on the Internet a lot."

"A lot, yea," said McVay.  

Like cars, a crowded highway means traffic. The same goes for these gadgets.

Corey: "So, if your in here and you are hooked up to their wireless, and there is a ton of people in here, do you notice that it works slower?"

"Absolutely, yea," said McVay. "If there is a lot of traffic on it you can definitely tell in the performance that the network and stuff is a lot faster on a secure network somewhere else."

Wireless technologies, if not properly secured, can leave your information vulnerable. In most cases, anyone within range can intercept the wireless signal without you even knowing.