Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wireless Network Security, The Glaring Issues

If you have ever used a wireless network, it is unlikely that you will ever want to go back and used a wired network. While there is no reason why you should not be pleased with the easy and comfort of a wireless network, keep a few important things in mind.

Extra ease
: If all you need to do to access your wireless network, is turn on your laptop, think again. There is no technology that can restrict the access of your wireless network just within your home or apartment. This would mean that a neighbor or anyone in the active vicinity of your wireless network could also access your network!

umb password: Most manufacurers of wireless network equipment prefer to make the process of installing and using the equipment very easy. Buyers are thrilled with a wireless network that can be set up in minutes. It sure does make the work of technical support easy by using a standard password across all the wireless equipment that is produced. But this could be your nightmare, every hacker would be aware of the standard passwords used by each equipment manufacturer. Get smart, refer to the manual that came with your wireless equipment and read the section dedicated to changing the password, change your password as soon as possible.

Always on: There was a time when internet access was expensive, billing was done based on hours or even minutes of usage. That changed and most Internet Service Providers today provide unlimited usage for a flat monthly fee. With this change most users leave their computers and wireless access equipment turned on, all the while. An always on network is a hackers dream, programmed algorithms are used to generate millions of passwords that can be released on to your network. Even the remote possibility of finding the right password can cause serious problems for innocent victims. It is a good idea to turn off your internet access equipment when the computer is not being used.

The technicals: If you are technically minded, you could add a few more chinks to your security armour. If you are not technically qualified, get professional help to implement a few security measures. These are very important for any wireless network so do not overlook them. Firstly, change the password for your wireless network device every 2 to 3 weeks. Find the settings of the equipment that controls the wireless device from 'broadcasting' itself and turn it off. Work on the MAC address and WEP security settings.

None of the above measures will bring 100% security to your wireless network. But that should not keep you away from implementing these and other measures. Network security is much like being a safe driver, you still know that a druken driver could lead you into an accident but, that does not stop you from being a safe driver. The people who could do damage to your network could be simple pranksters or professional hackers. The professionals know every trick of the trade but fortunately the simple pranksters outnumber them!

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