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In Singapore, Connecting To Someone Else's WiFi Will Cost You $10,000

Picture of Tarandip Kaur
Updated: 12 April 2018
The digital age has come upon us and with it, comes our constant need to be connected. In many instances, it is ideal to use a WiFi connection, especially when you take into account the high cost of data usage in Singapore.

Considering that most mobile devices and even desktop computers with a router can easily detect WiFi hotspots, you should be warned that connecting to any available hotspot without prior permission could actually land you in hot water. So hot, you can be fined up to $10,000 Singapore dollars and even land jail time of up to three years under the nation’s Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act.

In Singapore, the government treats data security very seriously. Latching onto another individual’s or company WiFi is seen as hacking and is therefore a punishable offense. A person is seen as violating terms of use of the specific WiFi connection and at its worst, where it becomes a possible jailable offence, impersonating another individual to potentially commit nefarious activities online.

Man in front of computer
Man in front of computer | © tookapic / Pixabay

One prominent case involved a teenager who was jailed for three months and received a fine of $4,000, for posting a bomb hoax on a popular local forum. Another case got a teenager in serious trouble when he piggybacked off a neighbours’ WiFi. This resulted in serving time in a juvenile detention home and having to abide by a curfew and an internet ban.

As these examples have shown, the authorities treat this as a very serious matter so people should think twice before attempting a connection to any hotspot, even an unprotected one. It’s best to be prepared and have your own network and WiFi, rather than pay the large price for checking into your email or social media accounts off any random person’s wireless account.

Lastly, it is definitely not advisable to just connect to a hotspot. This is due to the serious risks involved in personal identity theft and malware that might be present in the host’s WiFi hotspot. Many of these might present serious dangers to yourself when any personal information or data ends up in the hands of criminals or petty thieves who might want to access your bank accounts and so on.

So consider yourself warned.