It's frightening what some home WiFi users are leaving themselves exposed to. Anyone in the vicinity could easily use their WiFi connection to visit "dodgy and illegal websites”, should this activity be discovered by the authorities, who will track them down through via the ISP, it will be on the WiFi owner’s door which the police will be knocking. It also begs the question if someone wanted to "get away" with visiting dodgy websites, by deliberately leaving open their WiFi connection and playing the fool, could that be a legal "get out" clause? Who knows when it comes to computer crime laws, which is well behind the times in the UK, in a population approaching 60 Million, there is on average of less than 10 people a year being prosecuted under the Computer Misuse Act, with computer related crime tending to end up under either theft or fraud charges and convictions.
So just how are these unsecured WiFi networks originating, as these days most ISPs are providing WiFi routers with the ISP configuration with WPA encryption preloaded as standard. Well it comes from the days when all the ISPs provided, was a standard DSL router/modem, home users would themselves trundle down to their local PC Supermarket (*cough* rip off *cough*), and buy a WiFi Router from the ever NOT so knowledgeable shop assistant. They would just chuck the WiFi Router in at home and just be ever so pleased to eventually get it working with their DSL provider and home devices. So they either over look security completely or probably didn't know enough about it or even how to go about configuring it.
Perhaps manufactures should enable security by default on their products (some may do now). As a Cisco Security guy, I know the Cisco line is to disable all security features by default on their Routers, Cisco take the stance it’s the end user's responsibility to secure the product for use. However I must admit I don't know what the default settings are like on the Cisco LinkSys range of products these days, which is aimed at home market.
Whether or not manufacturers are providing enough security as default on their WiFi products is just half the puzzle, as I think it's more about getting the message "home" to those "home users" - forgive the pun.