by Terri Wiebold
Criminals have, and always will, look for crimes of opportunity to commit against unsuspecting citizens - who in some instances are unaware that they have been victimized until law enforcement or credit card companies contact them. As a result of advances in computer technology, crimes such as identity theft and credit card fraud are a growing national trend.
It is as easy as driving down a residential street with a laptop computer in the car. Criminals can detect homes with open and unsecure wireless networks by simply driving by the house, and can just as easily tap into home computer files and access important privileged information about an individual.
This information can then be used to make illegal purchases or to allow a sexual predator to connect for Internet access and trade sexually explicit information from that computer. Both of these activities could lead law enforcement to your house, where a search warrant could be issued and the computer could be seized as evidence.
A new and innovative community program in Douglas County allows Sheriff’s Office personnel to locate open wireless Internet networks within the Castle Pines North (CPN) community and then meet with the resident to explain the dangers of open wireless Internet connections. Step-by-step instructions to secure the computer are also provided.
An informational brochure regarding Open Wireless Networks and how to secure them is available at www.dcsheriff.net or residents can call 303-660-7856 for more information.