WTF Wi-Fi: Quirky Wi-Fi Names Drop Hidden Messages

"It's also a way to shock someone who might be invading your digital space," she said. "It may be a way to scare off potential hackers or identity thieves."

Though people can exercise creativity over the networks anywhere in the world, she said it's more likely to occur in urban areas where people are congested enough to be aware of overlapping networks and digitally connected enough to be constantly searching for an available hotspot.

John Fischer, a 27-year-old who lives in New York's stereotypically hip Williamsburg section, said he's "guilty of it" himself.

"Especially in a dense urban area where your Wi-Fi name reads like your address, it's a clever way to be a little unexpected," he said. In a "little literary dig" at his neighborhood, his network is "Skinny Jeans and All" and he said his friends nearby go by "WEB and Da Boys" (as in W.E.B Du Bois).

Wi-Fi Names Send Messages to Others Close By

Technology writer and co-author of the "geek humor gone wild" site eSarcasm, Daniel Tynan, said someone once changed his own Wi-Fi name on him.

When he failed to secure his own Wi-Fi network or alter the default password, he said someone went in and changed it to "Wide Open Please Come Hack Me."

Tynan has penned a book on security and said, "I was mortified about that gaffe and immediately took steps to fix it."

Janelli said she learned of someone using her Wi-Fi name to disclose a crush on a neighbor. Another, she said, used it to passive-aggressively reveal that "fat man on 7fl is douche."

But regardless of the circumstances surrounding the messages' origins, Janelli said that once discovered, the unusual Wi-Fi names seem to provide a great deal of amusement.

Since she started collecting the names, she's posted one day on WTFwifi.tumbler.com, but as the site's popularity has grown, she is planning to migrate the content to a full-featured site in the coming weeks.

With a growing team of other "Wi-Fi detectives" and a graphic designer, she hopes the site shows people that the Wi-Fi names are like an entertaining "graffiti art."

"I hope what people get from my site is that it's just a break from the daily routine. It just makes you laugh," she said. "Everyone needs a little bit of funny in their life."

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