Security ninja Bruce Schneier just concluded a group interview with the readers of the Freaknomics blog, who suggested a long list of smart, wide-ranging questions for him. Schneier's theory of security involves a lot of economics — the economics of theft that make it worth a crook's thief to target you, the economics of prevention that make it worth your bank's while to adequately protect you. It's classic Freakonomics stuff.
Q: Is there any benefit to password protecting your home Wifi network? I have IT friends that say the only real benefit is that multiple users can slow down the connection, but they state that there is no security reason. Is this correct?
A: I run an open wireless network at home. There's no password, and there's no encryption. Honestly, I think it's just polite. Why should I care if someone on the block steals wireless access from me? When my wireless router broke last month, I used a neighbor's access until I replaced it.