Bruce Schneier, the security guru and internet sensation, has been suggesting that people unlock their wireless networks. Given the constant and well-justified anxiety that exists about computer security, it is unconventional advice. That said, he argues effectively that the risks are fairly limited and that it is a neighbourly thing to do. Who hasn’t benefitted once or twice from the availability of an open wireless network? They were invaluable during my early weeks in Ottawa: allowing me to access Craiglist, Google Maps, and other vital apartment-hunting data while I was out there searching.
I am going to try leaving my wireless network open for a couple of weeks. If it doesn’t seem likely to burst my 200GB monthly bandwidth cap, I will leave it that way indefinitely. Hopefully, it will transpire that others have done the same when I start hunting around for a quieter flat in a more interesting neighbourhood this spring.