Piggybacking is the tendency of creating a wireless connection by tapping into another subscriber’s internet access. The subscriber is authorized to access the web services whereas the latter is not. In such situations, ethical issues arise. Well in real life this can be likened to a person using your restroom without your permission. Peeking through one’s window or eavesdropping, how does that sound? That would be piggybacking in the case of unauthorized internet access.
The use of wireless routers has become very familiar lately. Most electronic and other electrical connections are opting for a wireless connection. Despite the fact that the manufacturers usually give security software, they are hardly already installed in the devices. It requires manual installation by the users creating a challenge. Consequently, most of the wireless networks are unprotected. Trying to find an unprotected internet access is popularly known as Wardriving going by its advent as in the movie War Games. The practice leads to eminent war.
What is piggybacking
It is criminal accessing the unauthorized internet. In fact, the user is committing a communication services theft. It carries substantial jail term with harsh penalties. Also, it ruins one’s reputation when convicted guilty of the crime. The offender serves court fines and legal charges far much exorbitant than just establishing one’s connection. The intruder cannot escape as they always leave trails on the host computer, the router files, and the central servers. These will amount to conviction as fraud wireless users surf the illegal sites and engage in illegal communications. Law enforcement agencies will be in their pursuit.
This ethical issue faces many. A neighbor can leave his or her wireless network open, and the signal may be reaching your house. In such a situation, most would opt to access the network. In my opinion, anyone using this open network incurres losses to the service provider. However, it is up to the neighbors to secure their network, as anyone with this ‘opportunity’ would use the network anyway. It would not be very different if the neighbors allowed friends on the network, as the provider would still make losses.
Piggybacking, therefore, is a serious ethical issue. Using some networks can lead to the owners taking serious legal actions.
Hussain, M., Wahab, A. W. A., Batool, I., & Arif, M. (2015). Secure Password Transmission for Web Applications over the Internet using Cryptography and Image Steganography. Vol, 9, 179-188.
Shoaib, M., Khan, Z., Shehzad, D., Dag, T., Umar, A. I., & Amin, N. U. (2016). Performance Improvement of Threshold based Audio Steganography using Parallel Computation. Performance Improvement, 7(10).