And another tidbit from the front lines from Tech Support Guy.
“My full-of-holes, why bother, what's the worst that can happen attitude about the WEP key and password hassle prompted a letter from the cable provider. We were informed that someone from our host computer's IP address had been downloading movies. I unplugged the wireless access point, called the cable co. and informed them about the unsecured wireless and that it was being corrected immediately, that they were welcomed to examine our computer to see that no movies were downloaded. Long story short nothing further came from that incident. There is an apartment complex nearby and apparently, someone there had bootlegged our wireless signal --quite a distance. Our wireless signal is now secure and unobtainable by the neighbors.”
An open wireless can allow your neighbors to surf the web on your Internet connection, and you will be blamed for whatever they are downloading: the latest episode of “Glee”, the new Madonna song, or child pornography. Not to mention that they can rummage around in any shared files you have on your computer. Turn on your encryption, and I recommend using WPA2 for the highest level of security available. And choose a non-obvious passcode – don’t just use your last name. Your neighbors know your name, and it would be the first thing their budding teen hacker would try.