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Piggybacking. Everything You Need to Know

what is piggybacking

If you use your neighbor’s internet service without their permission, you are breaking the law and risk being penalized. This is known as Piggybacking.

Many people do not bother to secure their router and fail to see the danger in Piggybacking on someone else’s internet connection.

Let’s find out more about what Piggybacking is and why Piggybacking security is essential for users. We will also explore Wi-Fi Piggybacking. Read on!

What is Piggybacking?

Piggybacking uses a session that another user has already established to access a restricted communications channel. Piggybacking can be avoided by logging out before leaving a workstation or terminal or putting on a screensaver that requires re-authentication upon restart.

Piggybacking also refers to allowing another user to enter a restricted location right behind them. It is also known as tailgating, and it can be done on purpose by a malicious attacker or by accident.

In the context of wireless channels and communication, piggybacking is illegal access to a wireless LAN.

Piggybacking is usually done to acquire free network access rather than for harmful purposes. However, it can slow down data flow for legitimate network users.

Besides this, a network that is subject to piggybacking for network access is also vulnerable when the goal is to steal data, spread viruses, or engage in illegal behavior.

It’s easy to get onto an unprotected wireless network. All you have to do is get within range of a Wi-Fi hotspot’s signal and choose your preferred network from the list of available possibilities.

Unauthorized network access, even to a free wireless connection, is potentially illegal. People have been penalized for using hotspots provided by outside businesses, such as café and shops, offering free Wi-Fi.

Make sure your router’s encryption is turned on to safeguard your network from piggybacking. If you have no other choice, utilize Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP), but, if possible, use Wireless Protected Access (WPA) or WPA2.

For your encryption key, create a secure password with at least 14 characters and a combination of letters and digits.

Wi-Fi Piggybacking

Wireless routers come with no password and are commonly left that way by inexperienced users. In an apartment complex, it’s not uncommon to locate many open Wi-Fi connections.

The practice of accessing someone else’s Wi-Fi internet service without their permission is known as Wi-Fi piggybacking.
Wi-Fi piggybacking is possible because many home networks are left open or otherwise unprotected, allowing anyone within the Wi-Fi router’s broadcast range to connect.

Every country has its own set of rules regarding Wi-Fi piggybacking. In the US, you have FTA’s piggybacking regulations.

Although Wi-Fi piggybacking is prohibited in numerous jurisdictions, the regulations are not usually followed or understood. Piggybacking on Wi-Fi has resulted in several prosecutions, so you should avoid it unless you are certain that it is allowed in your jurisdiction.

How to Piggyback Secured Wi-Fi Networks

Users of Windows 7 can utilize ad hoc networks to share Internet connections with other devices. An ad hoc network allows a computer to join a secure Wi-Fi network that is already in use by a host computer.

Suppose you want to provide someone temporary Internet access at your house or company but don’t want them to know your network password. In that case, ad hoc networks are a great solution. Follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Right-click on Network in the Start menu. To launch Network and Sharing Center, click Properties.
  • Step 2: From the right pane, choose Set Up a New Connection or Network. From the connection options, choose Set Up a Wireless Ad Hoc (Computer-to-Computer) Network. The Next button should be selected.
  • Step 3: Select a security type from the drop-down menu after giving the ad hoc network a name. WPA is recommended since it offers the most security. For the new network, enter a password. Check the box next to Save This Network. The Next button should be selected.
  • Step 4: To enable piggybacking on the secured Wi-Fi network, click Turn on Internet Connection Sharing. The Close button should be selected.

IT Piggybacking Security

Piggybacking is, unfortunately, more common than one might expect. Employee irresponsibility and inexperience have resulted in countless information system infractions.

They neglect to lock their screens or write their login details on a post-it next to the monitor. Those who visit the restricted regions without authority for very specific reasons will undoubtedly be noticed.

If you want to avoid piggybacking, adhere to the following corporate security policies:

  • When you leave the office, remember to lock your laptop or desktop computer. If it is possible, turn off your devices.
  • Use a complicated password to secure access to your workstation. Even if you get a call from an IT specialist who needs your password to do things, don’t give it up. A technician will never ask a user’s password.
  • Maintain a clean work environment and don’t leave paper or non-paper company papers unattended.
  • All sensitive documents should be kept in closed cabinets.
  • When documents are no longer needed, destroy them with the proper devices.


There is still no one-size-fits-all solution to global internet security and user privacy.

Integrating a fixed solution will result in lower conversions and massive fines for violations that could be avoided if technologies were used to take the kind of dynamic approach required to comply with regulatory requirements.

About author

A finance major with a passion for all things tech, Uneeb loves to write about everything from hardware to games (his favorite genre being FPS). When not writing, he can be seen in his natural habitat reading, studying investments, or watching Formula 1.

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