Password Protect Your Wireless Router or Risk Child Porn Charges

Malcolm Riddell, a 58-year-old married resident of Sarasota, never got around to password protecting his wireless router. That led to the FBI knocking on his door, holding him up against a wall, and searching his computer for images of child porn according to The Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Riddell wasn't some pervert just a little naive when it came to internet security. Some guy who lived in a boat in a marina below his condo though: total pervert. 

Riddell, a graduate of the Harvard Business School, lived in the 12th floor of a waterfront condo building in sleepy Sarasota populated mostly by retirees. He thought the router only held wi-fi connections for about a 400 foot area, and didn't think much about password protecting the connection. What's the worst that could have happened? Some bored tween connecting their MacBook to his router during a visit to their internet-less grandparents' house? 

Well, in the Marina below Riddell's apartment 52-year-old Mark Brown lived on a yacht he was captaining and seriously dedicated himself to the collection of child porn by using Riddell's internet connection. 

Brown used screen names like "Hardalone243," "Hardpedo" and "Hard_foryou68." Not exactly subtle screenname. The FBI has tracking Mr. Hardpedo since September 2009 but couldn't identify him. After obtaining a warrant they eventually tracked the internet connection to Riddell which lead to their surprise visit. 

Brown/Hardpedo was eventually fingered as the culprit and admitted to possessing more then ten millions photos and videos of child porn on his computer. He's currently awaiting trial and could face decades in prison. 

As for Riddell, he immediately set a password on his router. 

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Alia Salim
Alia Salim

Hi Kyle,

1. Access the Administration Panel of your Router - This can be done by opening your internet browser and typing in the address bar Once you hit enter, an authentication panel would pop-up requiring you to enter a username and password. Usually, its or so most likely you wouldn’t have to do that.

2. Set the SSID or Username - When you’re inside the Administration panel, just go to Basic Wireless Settings and find the setting for Wireless Network Name or SSID. You should key in your desired username on the field of Wireless Network Name or SSID. Don’t forget to Save the Changes you made.

3. Set the Password - You should now go to Wireless Security. There you would see the Security Mode. To make things simple, just choose WPA Personal. You should now set a password by entering one under WPA Shared Key. After that, save the changes you made again.


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