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  1. #1

    Ethics: Is it okay to use an unsecured residential/business/mobile hotpsot Wi-Fi?

    I’m fine with using unsecured Wi-Fi connections from houses nearby, people are smart enough these days to protect them with a password.
    but you shouldn’t use unprotected mobile hotspots, mobile internet costs a lot of money and is often paid per mb.

  2. #2
    It really comes down to the amount of data you’re using, and if it’s going to impact the person/business you’re leeching from.
    Downloading movies on a random stranger’s phone hotspot in an airport could cost them hundreds of dollars if they’re roaming, it’s theft, pure and simple.
    At the other extreme, using an unsecured residential wifi to read an email/send an IM somewhere your phone can’t pick up signal would be like picking up a penny on the street – sure it’s not technically your penny, but if you dropped one you wouldn’t expect the finder to try to seek you out – it’s a damn penny.

  3. #3
    It’s murky, I’d advise against it. If they’re on a bandwidth based plan (say 10GB a month) and they’re not entirely tech savvy then you’re going to cost them money. Also, if you’re transmitting your personal data across an unsecured network, and it’s intercepted/stolen then you have no legal recourse as you shouldn’t be using it at all.
    Protip: Pony up now, save hassle later.

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