When I was contracting work form the cable company a while back I noticed that most people with wireless routers did not have them encrypted. They would tell me stories like, “It keeps booting me every 10 minutes or so”. Another thing some would say, “I can’t get on my wireless anymore it keeps asking for a password”. Then they would tell me, “They never set a password and don’t understand why it would be asking for one”. I would have to tell them how they were most likely hacked by a neighbor or someone close by and they set up the password.
Well on some routers there is a security feature that will boot any person that is not logged in with an encryption key code. This would be the reason some people kept getting booted every ten minutes. But the few that told me about the new password being set had a whole different problem all together. After telling them a neighbor did it, confused them even more. They were baffled as to how they could do something like that. I explained to them how the modem comes with default settings.
Every modem comes with default settings. If you type the routers IP address (usually 192.168.1.1 depending on modem) in the browser address bar a log in box will appear. You will need a pass word and login name so you think by looking at it. Most routers you just leave the login blank and the password by default is admin. Now if someone is able to access the internet through your router because it is not encrypted, they can also access the control panel of the router and change things like passwords and logins. Once someone does this everyone connected to the wireless router will be booted immediately and asked for the encryption key to re-log on. The only way to fix this is by holding the reset button on the router the way the instructions ask you to.
Now this can all be avoided by simply making sure your wireless router is encrypted. You do not want people you do not know and trust using your internet connection. Even if they do not change the password on you, they can still use your internet connection to commit crimes online or even have access to copying your sensitive files. If you do not know how to encrypt your wireless network there are many sites that offer free help with this kind of stuff.