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Italian earthquake victims asked to disable WiFi passwords

Engadget logo Engadget 24/08/2016 Alex Gilyadov
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Early Wednesday a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck central Italy, killing at least 120 people and trapping countless others under debris. To help ease communications for search and recovery, multiple disaster relief institutions are urging locals to temporarily remove their WiFi passwords.

In the aftermath of such a national disaster, people are anxious to contact their loved ones and friends to make sure they're fine. But, with so many trying to get through, phone lines are often clogged and those in need of immediate aid struggle to reach people for help. Passwordless WiFi connections allow organizations, like the Lazio Region and Italian Red Cross, to quickly facilitate mobile communication by contacting people through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Skype.

The downside to having an open WiFi is that you can potentially expose your personal data to third parties, so it's best to avoid going through your online bank accounts while the passwords are removed. But, by taking this temporary security risk, locals will help save countless innocent lives.
Red Cross

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