Last week we posted an article how the PlayBook automatically transfers your saved Wi-Fi networks from your BlackBerry the first time it Bridges. I first noticed this when I got my PlayBook home and saw it attached to my Guest 'g' Network by itself. My first thought was "WOW how cool is this!!" I hit up come colleagues on BBM and had them check their saved Wi-Fi networks and we noticed that all our saved Wi-Fi networks from our BlackBerry Smartphone's had copied over to the PlayBook.
Wait, is this good or bad?
Like Craig Johnston I'm real old school BlackBerry and one of my original reasons we went BlackBerry was because of the security and control. So it didn't take long for my security hairs on the back of neck stand up straight. I wasn't sure if I should be too concerned, sometimes I get a little crazy quickly, and yes I wear a tinfoil hat to bed. I contacted a friend who's the Associate Director of Information Security at a major University and asked his opinion.
His first thought was "WOW that is way cool!" and after a moment he asked if on my BlackBerry does it connect to my 'Guest Network' by default? No, I replied, I connect to my private one. Red flags immediately went up. I compared my saved networks on the BlackBerry and PlayBook, I saw that the network priorities were not the same.
Why is this important? Let's say a company has a public unsecure network and a private WPA2 network, if your PlayBook selects the public open network rather than your WPA2 network everything you're doing on the web (Facebook, Twitter etc.) is not secure. If you are familiar with things like FireSheep unsecure surfing can be a real problem.
My recommendation is that RIM mirrors the priority of Wi-Fi network selection. In the meantime I suggest that everyone jump into their Wi-Fi profiles on the PlayBook and ensure that your Saved Wi-Fi networks are in the priority you wish. As for re-ordering their priority, simply tap and hold on a saved network. After holding for a second you can drag it up or down.