Cedar Falls teens issue warning about Wi-Fi connections - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls teens issue warning about Wi-Fi connections

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JANESVILLE (KWWL) -

Unprotected wireless Internet connections are a gold mine for Internet hackers to steal personal information.

A group of teens from Cedar Falls have spent the past few weeks researching how big of a problem it is.

The ten teens are part of a Cyber Defense team led by Paul Gray and Aaron Spurr.

They used a long-range wireless antenna to detect open Internet connections, or wireless networks that weren't password protected.

According to their research, they estimate approximately 1,200 Wi-Fi connections aren't password protected in Cedar Falls alone.

"I don't think people really realize what could happen with unprotected networks," said Spurr.

Spurr said open networks can allow hackers to collect personal information like credit card numbers and passwords.

"If someone gets on your Wi-Fi connection, they can do whatever they want," said Spurr.

Teammate Hannah Dietz said everyone should have a password.

"If you don't have one, you should get one, and make sure it's one you can remember so you don't get locked out," said Dietz.

Spurr and Dietz recommend folks use a long password consisting a few words.

The teens completed research on the dangers of unprotected Wi-Fi networks as part of a service project for the upcoming IT-Olympics Cyber Defense competition.

The competition will take place at the end of April in Ames.

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