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More on Wireless Security

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 by | Filed Under: Security Help

More on Wireless Security

Having a wireless network (also known as WiFi) is a great way to have networking and Internet connectivity anywhere in your home. Just hook up a wireless router and once and for all, you can be done with all of those dreadful cords! But, along with that router comes a greater security risk. Since you’re able to connect to the Internet anywhere around your house, others can get in on your wireless network as well. Well, today, I have a few tips that will help ensure that only authorized systems can connect to your wireless network. Here we go!

First, if you’ve never looked at your wireless router’s set up utility, I recommend you pull out your router’s manual and learn all about it. Every router is a little different, but the following tips will work on most of them.

Tip #1 – Turn On Your Wireless Security

This is usually known as encryption and it is the very least you should do to secure your wireless network. There are several types of encryption methods that can be used on a wireless network. Inside your router’s set up utility, you will be given a choice. The most common ones are WPA-TKIP or WEP. Either of those types will have you set up a password for your wireless access. Make sure you write that password down or at least the string of letters and numbers provided for you. Once you save the settings, log back in to your wireless network. You will then be asked to enter the password you just created. With the encryption turned on, only the people who have that password will be able to gain access to your wireless connection.

Tip #2 – Turn Off the SSID Broadcast

Your router sends out the name of your wireless network for other computers to find. In a way, it’s very convenient to be able to pick your network from a list, but that’s not always the safest way to go. If someone is looking to connect to a wireless network, they can only connect to the ones they see. Since your router is sending out the name, anyone is able to see it. But, if you turn the SSID broadcast off, your network will not show up on the list of available wireless networks. Doing that will make your network very secure, but make sure you know the name of your network before you do this. After turning the SSID broadcast off, you will have to manually enter the name of your network on your computer in order to connect to it.

Tip #3 – Filter Your MAC Addresses

Each computer has its own unique ID number built into it. That is called the MAC address. If you know the MAC addresses of the computers on your network, you can tell your router to only allow a connection with those certain ones. That way, no other systems will be able to connect to you, because they are not on the list.

If you put these three security tips into play, no one will be able to get into your wireless network. Until next time, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary

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