I have been thinking of doing a study to see how people percieve the importance of wireless network security.
Over the last couple of nights, I went for a drive around Havelock North, which for those that dont know, is one of the most rapidly growing areas in Hawkes Bay.
It also has a range of low socioeconomic residential areas, very close to areas of high socioeconomic areas. I spent about 4 hours driving around and found that of the 180 access points that we found, 71 were unencrypted and allowed us access to the network. (we didnt do anything other than confirm that the dchp server gave us an ip then we moved on).
I was also rather surprised to find that around 60 of these access points were in areas that we would consider higher socioeconomic areas, or the newly developed areas with average house prices around $500,000+. Almost all of the access points we found in the lower areas were secured.
Most of the business leaders of Hawkes Bay live in the upper areas of Havlock North and I would imagine many of these business leaders keep company information / records etc. on home computers which are literally accessible to someone, in a car, on the street.
We also found that there is a surprisingly high amount of laptops with the SSID 'hpsetup' in havlock north. We didnt bother connecting to these but many were unencrypted also.