Wireless Network Security

This is a discussion on Wireless Network Security within the Operating Systems board part of the Software/Hardware and Mobile Phones category; It seems that more and more home users are going with wireless networks rather than the tradition wired networks with ...

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    hendricius is offline Administrator

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    Wireless Network Security

    It seems that more and more home users are going with wireless networks rather than the tradition wired networks with wires hanging everywhere and running wild around the house and in the crawlspace. What seems like a good idea quickly turns into a nightmare if you donít vamp up the security of your wireless network.

    Speed is of the essence. Typically, one thing matters to new users of wireless, getting connected and browsing that first website. While wireless connectivity can accomplish this, itís best to set up your wireless connection securely before venturing out into cyberspace. Below are some tips to help secure your wireless network.

    Change the default admin password. Admin passwords are easily figured out by attackers when they are left as the default. Not changing your wireless admin password opens your network to attack and can lead to many problems depending on the attackerís agenda.

    Another wireless security measure you will need to take is turning on encryption. Enabling WEP encryption on your wireless network will help you protect your privacy and all your info wonít be floating around outside your home waiting to be picked up by a passerby. Itís important to remember that all your devices on the wireless network will need to have the same encryption. So find the strongest encryption possible that will work on all devices of the wireless network.

    Stop the auto-connect feature. Do not allow your devices to auto-connect. Allowing auto-connect may connect to a network that you donít particularly want. Example, you donít want your laptop connecting to your neighborís network and sending info.

    Itís also a good idea that you install firewalls on all devices that connect to the wireless network. Even if the wireless router is firewalled, itís important to also install firewalls on all computers that are connected to the wifi network. Itís important that these firewalls be set up correctly and block any intrusions that may compromise your wifi network.

    Position your wireless router close to the center of your home. Although the reach of wifi networks can vary greatly, itís important to not allow the signal to float around great distances from the main access point. It virtually impossible to stop all leakage from exiting your home. But minimizing the risk to your wifi network will help to protect it.

    Another good idea for wifi network security is to not allow broadcast of the SSID. Your router may have SSID broadcasting set up by default; however you should be able to change this setting in the configuration. This feature is only useful for mobile environments, and is not needed in home wifi networks.

    These are just a few tips to securing your wifi network. Itís always a good idea to check for firmware updates to your router as new exploits and vulnerabilities arise. Some routers will have an auto update feature and itís important to use it. Using auto update will help keep your wifi network secure without the need of remembering to check for updates.
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