A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck central Italy on Wednesday morning, killing at least 247 people in the small towns in that area.
Disaster relief organizations are already working hard to rescue survivors and search for more of them. To aid their efforts, the Italian Red Cross has asked citizens living in nearby areas to disable their Wi-Fi passwords so relief workers can use those networks to communicate with each other more easily.
— Croce Rossa Italiana (@crocerossa) August 24, 2016
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In addition to helping rescue teams stay connected, unlocking your Wi-Fi network could also help survivors reach out to their loved ones to let them know where they are and how they’re holding up. And in these difficult times, sharing your connection this way could also allow people in the area to bypass congested mobile services and contact their friends and family using VoIP and messaging apps.
Of course, disabling your password opens you up to the risk of people snooping on your Web traffic, but if you can avoid accessing private services like online banking while your Wi-Fi network is unlocked, you should be okay. Being able to help others in distress is certainly worth that minor temporary restriction – and it’s something that people in other disaster-struck areas should follow now and in the future.