With the decline in the cost of wireless equipment and “point and click” configuration ability most newer equipment offers, more and more people are setting up wireless networks in their homes and businesses.
One key configuration that is often missed, though, is security of the wireless network.
Is the wireless connection you’re using secure, is your data in jeopardy, and is your identity safe?
You might be asking yourself “How do I secure my network, and what does it mean so say a wireless network is unsecure?”
If a network is classified as unsecure, it means that the network can be accessed without the need for a key, or password. You’ll find unsecure networks in a lot of public places, such as coffee shops and airports.
The problem is that once a user is connected to an unsecure network, it is possible they could access network resources such as files, folders, printers, etc. that are shared on your computer – many times, without you even knowing.
As you know, this could be a world of trouble if your confidential data is obtained by an unknown user.
Wireless network security tips
A number of things can be done to ensure your wireless network is safe, network resources are protected, and your data is securely stored on your system.
Software or hardware devices can be implemented, and are one of the first lines of defense, to prevent unauthorized access of your wireless network. Most wireless routers include basic firewall protection – it just has to be turned on when the unit is configured.
The SSID is the name of your network. Most routers come with a default SSID, which, if left that way, is a sign of a poorly configured network. This makes you an easy targets for hackers.
By default, wireless routers have a standard username and password that can be easily looked up on the web.
You should definitely set up your own username and password to access your wireless device’s setup screens, so hackers or unwanted Internet users can’t go into the settings on your router and make changes to your security settings.
Be sure to follow standard password security when coming up with the password for your wireless router – you don’t want hackers to be able to easily guess your password, and access your setup screens.
Most routers allow you to set the signal strength of the network broadcast. Turning the signal down on your router lowers the chances of outsiders being in range of your wireless network.
This is one of the most important steps to securing your wireless network- require a key or network password in order to connect to the wireless network.
There are several types of encryption, the most common being WEP, WAP, and WAP2. Each provides a different level and method of network security. Any form of encryption is better than having an open wireless network.
Securing your wireless network plays a key role in the protection of your data, network resources, and overall privacy when you’re using a home or work network. It’s a quick and easy process, requiring just a few changes to the default setup. The peace of mind and convenience of wireless networking are worth the extra few steps.