A network that transmits information over public airwaves (the same used by television, radio, and cell phones). The signal transmissions actually occur through air rather than through copper or fiber-optic cables. It's hard to conceive at times, but much of our information is traveling via satellites. These networks are supposed to be protected by a built-in security feature (WEP), but it is a known fact that wireless networks can be easily accessed and monitored by outsiders. (They are crackable.)
Tips On How-To Secure Your Wireless Network:
- Enable WPA (Wireless Protected Access) Encryption
In order to use WPA encryption, your network adapter and router must support it. Most newer ones do, and some have made WPA updates available for older equipment. If you have older devices that you can't update, it is time to replace them.
- Give your Wireless Network a Unique SSID (Security Set Identifier)
Use a combination of letters and numbers (alphanumeric), such as y0ut00b.
- Change your Router's Default SSID and Password
Your router also has an SSID and hackers use sniffer programs based on the usual defaults to find wireless networks because they know many users don't change them.
- Disable SSID broadcasting
This feature is enabled by default, which allows it to accept any SSID it encounters from any computer. By turning OFF this feature, the connecting computer's SSID must be the same as teh SSID of the router.
- Turn Off Simple File Sharing
This keeps you safe from spoofing, a practice where hackers use fake access points to trick you into exposing your system to them. After you turn this off, you can still access files and folders on your other computers by configuring individual permissions.
- Turn Off Automatic Connections
This keeps you computer from automatically connecting to any wireless network it detects, including a malicious or spoofed access point.
- Relocate Your Router
If your router is located near a window or door, it sends a stronger signal outside, making it easier for bad guys to find your Wi-Fi network.
- Restrict Unnecessary Traffic with a Firewall
If you frequently use public hotspots, make sure a program such as Windows Firewall is enabled and teh exceptions feature is temporarily disabled for communication programs like Windows Messenger. This prevents virus attacks from computers used by less savvy people at the hotspot.
NetLingo Classification: Net Hardware