The latest Windows 10 has a feature called WiFi Sense that allows you to share your WiFi network’s password with your contacts on platforms like Skype, Outlook and even Facebook. Well, not the actual password, it’s in encrypted format but still allows your contacts to access your WiFi hotspot if you allow them to.
Here’s how it works:
WiFi Sense lets “you exchange password-protected Wi-Fi network access with your contacts to give and get Internet access without seeing each other’s Wi-Fi network passwords”.
This worries us because even if Microsoft assures us that the password is stored in an encrypted format and is sent that way to our contacts in close range, it still does not put many minds at ease seeing how rampant security hacks are happening globally.
Another concern is if you share your WiFi access with a friend, that means their contacts can also get access through that particular friend if he/she allows it. Scary, right? Like an everlasting chain of shared information.
However, WiFi Sense also gives you the option to choose whether you want to share your network when a contact is near your WiFi hotspot. The manual opt-in feature may be what saves this whole feature.
To disable this feature, make sure you go to your WiFi settings and change them so you don’t have to share access with anyone else you don’t want to.
Hide your network if you can. If you’re a corporate firm with Windows 10, you’re better off not sharing passwords or using WiFi Sense at all, you know, just to be on the safe side.
Some security steps you can take to protect your network, according to Krebs On Security are:
- Prior to upgrade to Windows 10, change your Wi-Fi network name/SSID to something that includes the terms “_nomap_optout”.
- After the upgrade is complete, change the privacy settings in Windows to disable Wi-Fi Sense sharing.
- If you haven’t already done so, consider additional steps to harden the security of your Wi-Fi network.
Read more on the FAQs on WiFi Sense here.