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FUELLED BY RIOJA

After two long years in England, when Spain was an itch that had to be scratched, a golden opportunity came along, which couldn't be ignored. So here I am back in Spain ~ again, just me and my dog on the sunny Costa Blanca, ready for another adventure!

INSIDER SECRETS: EXPATS ~ HOW SECURE IS YOUR WIFI AND PHONE LINE?
15 October 2015 @ 16:40

After 8 days without WIFI, my mood was not improved by the grandly titled ‘PRESIDENT’ of the urbanisation constantly telling me it was a ‘user problem’, and if he told me to ‘power down and back up’  once, he told me 10 times, feigning surprise each time I told him that this would not bring my internet back to life.   

I may be blonde, but trust me, I’m definitely not stupid.  I know that to have internet access on my computer, I have to have a Wifi service to my router.

But the lights were not on, and no Wifi was at home.

Eventually just as all hope was lost, a man appeared at my gate.  ‘Are you?’ I asked, ‘I am’ he replied.  If we had known each other better I would have kissed him right there, right then, but it seemed entirely inappropriate, we were strangers after all, and I didn’t want to risk him running away.

And of course, it wasn’t a ‘user’ problem. Water had crept into my Wifi cable, and whilst there was a strong signal in the utility box at the gate, it had drowned before it reached the router.

After the trauma of having no Wifi for such a long time, I wanted to minimise the danger of it happening again.  Clearly, rain was getting into the box somehow, so we took a look at the positioning of the cable to see if anything needed to be gently re-sited for damage limitation purposes.

So as the lovely engineer was working his magic in the utility supply box, I took a look as well, and even with minimal knowledge of such things, it all looked a bit too shabby and very insecure to my untrained eye.

Firstly, Mr Engineer was able to open the box simply by using his personal key ring to lever it open. No need for any specialized tools.  So if he can do it, then anyone can.

Once inside the box, the incoming phone cable is completely obvious, and a small connector takes the service from the box, through to your telephone and WiFI router indoors.  Even a small child could remove this connector in seconds. 

A small child however, would probably only be interested in connecting it to his Fisher Price pull along phone, which wouldn’t cause you too much of a problem.  

THE PHONE AND WIFI CABLE IS AT THE BOTTOM LEFT HAND CORNER OF THE PICTURE

On the other hand,  as unlikely it seems, Mr Engineer pointed out to me how easy it would be for an opportunist simply to open ANY utilities box, and connect a phone to YOUR service and call their ‘brother’ in any war torn country.  Phone and WiFi adaptor bottom left hand corner

Likewise, just as Mr Engineer did (when was testing my own service), anyone could connect a lap top to YOUR Wifi service, to rally some troops anywhere in the world.  And it did indeed seem far too easy, and the whole utility box, right outside my gate, outside everybody’s gate, suddenly looked very vulnerable.  

I certainly wouldn’t think twice if I saw a man, with a ‘tool box’, accessing a utility box, I’d simply assume he was another Mr Engineer. 

And so would you.

Since then, whilst walking my dog around the urbanisation where I live, I’d say that only 25% of the boxes I’ve passed have any additional security on them, like a padlock, or a bolt.

And after seeing, and hearing first hand inside information of just how vulnerable the utility box is, maybe it is worthwhile adding just a bit of extra security as a deterrent.  

Better safe than sorry.     

Of course, I realize the likelihood of ‘Abdul’ from Pakistan rocking up on the Costa’s to make a few phone calls home, or to access his Facebook page at your front gate is a bit remote.

BUT, then, did we ever imagine there would be a man on a beach in Tunisia with a loaded gun. 

 

Apart from anything else,  all be a bit too late when your phone bill comes in and ‘someone’ has racked up hundreds of euros worth of calls to some far off land from your phone line in Spain while you were obliviously eating your tea in Tooting.  

 

Please come and read more about my adventures now that I'm back in Spain ~ again!

www.hellosixty.com



Like 1




8 Comments


Scooby2 said:
17 October 2015 @ 09:25

Hi Jane
Just to put your mind at rest (a little) the accessibility of the phone line means that the biggest risk you have is someone connecting a telephone and using it for free. However your Internet router, when it is first powered on, connects to the Internet using a user ID and password, so anyone connecting another router to your line would not be able to connect without having these details. The ID and password are set by your Internet service provider and can only be changed by the provider. Also, even if the "piggybacker" had your user ID and password, the line only supports access to a single router at a time, so assuming yours is always on (most are), they would still not be able to connect normally.
What you are talking about here is Internet access, not Wi-Fi. the Wi bit stands for wireless, i.e. what is transmitted from your router in order to give you access without the need for a cable. Wireless connections are configured for security at the router and you can change these. Your Internet connection is via cables until it reaches your wireless router, which is responsible for the wireless bit. I hope this helps.


RiojaRosie said:
17 October 2015 @ 09:53

Hey Scooby!
Thanks for reading, and commenting on my post. Much appreciated, it's good to have another take on things.

I'm no expert, and yes, of course your info makes perfect sense. All I know is this, Mr Engineer got internet access at my gate, through the incoming service to my house, without any passwords, or even my permission!

So, therefore, I'm presuming anyone with a 'bit' of knowledge would be able to do the same.

I think the point I was trying to make is that all things are possible, no matter how we dismiss them, and say 'oh that will never happen to me in a zillion years'....and to be honest, Wifi , Internet, or phone line, call it what you like, I wouldn't want anyone using mine for free.

Jx


Scorcher said:
17 October 2015 @ 10:10

Yes Scooby2 is absolutely right Jane, sorry but there's no such thing as a "Wi-Fi cable" - that's an oxymoron. The wireless signal is transmitted through the air. The Internet connection is sent via the phone line cable (ADSL or Broadband signal) to your router, which then and only then can be turned into a transmitted (airborne) Wi-Fi signal. Just making this clarification as other people may be a little mislead by your story, and if they have a problem they may refer to the "Wi-Fi cable" when dealing with Movistar, Jazztel etc., and that could cause all kinds of confusion with their already half-baked call center services. You: "Hay un problema con mi cable de wiffy?". Them: "Que???".


jmah said:
17 October 2015 @ 11:27

I think the reference to Abdul from Pakistan in this blog is entirely unnecessary and racist


DJF42 said:
17 October 2015 @ 13:10

jmah,
I think your comment is unnecessary. Why, oh, why, are people so up in arms when people speak the truth these days.

Unless you have been living at the North Pole, where I don't think there is a telephone line and therefore WiFi, what is the news full of these days? and where do all the terrerist problems stem from?

Are you going to complain if an Australian calls a Brit a "wingeing pom" or a French man calls a Brit "Roast Beef" and what about the Scots being called "Jocks" or the Irish "Paddy" the Americans "Yanks", I could go on.

Going back to the subject in hand, am I right in thinking that all telephone engineers have a special phone that they can connect to the "system" and get a line status report? This doesn't mean that the system is easy to tap into and run up bills for the account holder.
As has been said Jane, put your own password into the router or get a savvy chap/chapess to do it for you and your line is as safe as is necessary these days.

Please note how policically correct I am being in the last paragraph.


SandrainAlgorfa said:
17 October 2015 @ 13:16

Jmah - if you don't have a relevant comment to make, keep your mouth shut instead of appointing yourself as EOS Offended in Chief. I happen to know Jane and she is not racist. She's also a very talented writer making a point. Now if she'd said Abdul bin Laden from Pakistan, that might have been construed as racist. Why do people feel the need to say 'look how PC I am?' whether it has anything to do with the post or not?



RiojaRosie said:
17 October 2015 @ 13:46

Thank you to everyone who is commenting and for the additional information and knowledge. It's kind of you to take the time to respond.

I must acknowledge Jmah's comment. JMAH.... Seriously, out of all the words I wrote in my post, was that all you had to offer in response?
My comment, was ENTIRELY necessary in the context of the post I wrote, and I will not refrain from stating the bloody obvious, just in case I 'offend' people who seem to make it their mission in life to BE offended.




DJF42 said:
17 October 2015 @ 13:57

How do you feel now jmah?

Well done girls, keep the truth and honest comment out there!


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