By Henry T. Casey, Fox News, Aug 1, 2015 – If you’re taking up Microsoft on its offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10, you should know that the new operating system has a feature, called Wi-Fi Sense, that automatically shares your Wi-Fi passwords with others.
When Wi-Fi Sense is enabled, anyone you have in your Skype, Outlook or Hotmail contacts lists — and any of your Facebook friends — can be granted access to your Wi-Fi network as long as they’re within range. Microsoft added this feature to save users’ time and hassle, but as independent security blogger Brian Krebs put it, some security experts see it as “a disaster waiting to happen.”
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Krebs and others worry about the potential for strangers or untrustworthy friends being given access to users’ home Wi-Fi networks. Microsoft has tried to reassure them by pointing out that you have to agree to enable Wi-Fi Sense every time you join a new network, that those people to whom you grant network access can’t pass along that access to yet more people, and that the feature doesn’t share an actual password, but rather an encrypted version of it.
Despite the safeguards, the issue is nonetheless dangerous for those users, and there are many of them, who agree to everything their computers ask of them. If they agree to share Wi-Fi Sense with their Facebook friends, then, yep, all of their Facebook friends will be given access to their networks. (We’ve already encountered this request from Windows 10, which didn’t really explain what the feature entailed.)