Posts Tagged ‘wireless’

Is your network secure?

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Google has recently been accused of gathering personal information gained from their Street View cars whilst gathering WiFi hotspot information for the software. This information was only gained via unsecured and open networks which could have been accessed by anyone with a limited amount of IT knowledge. So how can you be sure that your network is safe and secure?

You should ensure that your wireless network is secured using the latest technology available on your device such as a WPA or WPA2 key. This is a strong form of encryption which prevents people without the key accessing the network.

You can hide your wireless network from being discovered by other wireless devices, although this is easily circumvented and can cause problems if you regularly connect different devices. If you don’t want to hide your network then give it an obscure name that does not relate it to you or your property. Older security technologies such as mac addressing and WEP are more easily cracked and should be avoided.

On most modern routers the wireless security key is printed on a sticker on the router along with the SSID or network name. It is a good idea to log into your router and change the default information such as the administration password, SSID and key so that they cannot be known by anyone but you. Just remember to keep a note of them for future reference!

When you are out and about with your laptop and do not want to use wireless or Bluetooth, turn off these services. This will prevent people finding and connecting to your machine. There should be a switch somewhere on the laptop for these services or possibly one of the Function keys on the numbers at the top of the keyboard.

When connecting to unsecured networks such as hotspots make sure your anti-virus and firewall protection is enabled and up to date to prevent unwanted access. Also, avoid sharing drives on your computer. Although this may be convenient when you are at home, if you are out and about and connected to Public networks your data could be available to everyone!

Finally, if you need any help setting up or securing your network please contact us on 01628 819515 or email help@athomeit.co.uk.