Wednesday, October 29, 2008



Wireless internet connectivity carries a number of threats that often offset its ease. Hackers can break into your systems to steal and use your personal information while remaining invisible. They could even use your IP address to send out terror emails and coordinate terrorist activities. Here are some tips to help secure your WiFi network:

1. Change the default user name and password
Change the default password used to modify configuration settings for your WiFi System. Make it difficult to guess by combining letters and numbers. Similarly, set up a password for your wireless internet connection.

2. Do not broadcast your SSID
Your router comes with a default system ID called the SSID (Service Set Identifier), the name of your WiFi setup. Change this to something personal to differentiate you from other unprotected networks. WLAN routers broadcast the SSID, making it visible to wireless systems within range. Turn off the broadcast, making it invisible to others.

3. Enable encryption of data
To avoid theft of data, protect your WLAN with WPA2 (WiFi Protected Access) encryption, a cloaking mechanism. Use an encryption key difficult to guess and change it often. With an older system you could use WPA or WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy), the latter being the least strong.

4. Use MAC filtering for access control
Every WiFi gadget is assigned an identity code, the "MAC address." Feed the MAC addresses of your home equipment into your router. The network will then allow connections only from these devices by comparing the MAC address of the devices trying to connect to the WiFi with the list held by it.

5. Reduce your WLAN transmitter power
Lower the power of your WLAN transmitter to reduce the signal range. Position the router in the center of the home. Also keep remote administration of the router via the internet turned off. Shut off your wireless signal when not in use. All these measures minimise opportunities for outsiders to access your WLAN.

For added security, enable your router's and computer's firewalls, limit intra-network file sharing, change the default IP address of your router, assign a static IP address to each of your PCs, update your computer's anti-virus software and anti-mal ware etc. While no single layer of precaution is enough to withstand every attack, adding layers to your security will help ensure that spy ware and mal ware are kept out.

Have a nice day,
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