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WiFi Security Tips

Posted On 2007-06-11 by FortyPoundHead
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Tags: Networking Tip Security 
Views: 1618


With the proliferation of wifi enabled devices, it's important for you to be aware of threats, and take a few steps to ensure that you are safe. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Enable Encryption on your Access Point. Using 128-bit encryption or higher makes your Wireless Network more secure. WEP and WPA are entirely different encryption schemes. WEP has been proven insecure. Using WPA is recommended, but actually no more secure than WEP. WPA is just a little friendlier to use.
  2. Set the ''Administrator'' password on the router. Anybody who gains access can use the ''default'' password to lock you out, or grant themselves more privileges (i.e. disable MAC address filtering or add one more MAC address to the MAC address filtering list so they don''t always need to ''clone'' your MAC address to get in). If you forget it, most routers have a hardware reset that will restore all of the settings to factory defaults.
  3. Don''t use easily guessed Keys, such as "ABC123", "Password", or a string of numbers in order. Use something hard to guess that contains both letters and numbers. Special characters such as !@#$% are not supported by most routers. The longer the key, the better. Using the Passwords Page on GRC.com is recommended.
  4. Change your ESSID (Wireless Network Name)from the default to something unique. Don''t use your phone number, address, or anything that may identify you. If you leave it ''linksys'' (or whatever default) your Windows notebook will automatically connect to every other network it encounters with the same name, and not every wireless network is a good and secure thing to connect to.
  5. Disable the ''ESSID Broadcast'' feature of your Access Point or Router. People will be less likely to pass by and notice your network. On the down-side, it becomes problematic to connect a guest''s computer to it, as well as many ''devices'', like printers with wireless networking built in.
  6. Use MAC Address filtering on your Access Point or router. This registers the hardware address (MAC Address) of your networked devices, and prevents unknown devices from joining or accessing the network (unless they clone one of your ''allowed'' MAC addresses after you go to bed).

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