Is your wireless network secure?

Is your wireless network secure? from The Right IT

By: The Right IT  01-May-2012
Keywords: Computers, Computer Services, Telecommunications

In today's connected world, wireless network connectivity is more important then ever. With so many devices now connect wirelessly to the internet and each other, such as smartphones, iPads and other tablets, printers, multimedia devices, overhead projects, network storage devices etc, it is essential that your business (or home) wireless network is secure.

Download Wireless Network Watcher


If you've ever wanted to see who and what devices are connected to your wireless network, try using the free Wireless Network Watcher utility. This utility will display the IP address, Device Name, Mac Address, and other information about the devices that are connected to your wireless network. In addition to being able to scan your network for all devices connected to your wireless network if you run this tool in the background it can also notify you any time a new device connects to your network.

If you're concerned about who's on your network because it is unsecure read on for easy tips to help lock down your network.

Wireless Security
Having an open wireless network can be a security risk as it may allow anyone who is close enough to your router (such as a neighbor or neighbouring business tenancy) access to your network (and your information). To make your home wireless network more secure consider the below suggestions. All of the below steps will require access to the router setup, and we also recommend configuring wireless security over a computer with a wired connection to the router if possible.
 
Close the network
If you have never been prompted for a key, password, or passphrase when connecting to your wireless network it is an open network, meaning anyone close enough to your router could connect to it and browse your network. To enable security, open your router setup screen and look for a Wireless Security section. Select the wireless security method of either WEP or WPA (we suggest WPA as mentioned later) and enter the passphrase to generate the keys (also known as the wireless access password). After enabling security on the router, any wireless device that wants to connect will need to have a key in order to connect to your network.
 
Change default password
Change the router's default administator password. Almost all home and small business routers publish the default administrator password in their setup manuals which are easily downloaded from the manufacturer's website. Additionally, if the password is easily guessed, it could give someone access to the router setup, which could allow them to change your router settings, including viewing any security keys.

Security Types
If available use WPA, not WEP. Many routers today will offer two different security schemes: WEP and WPA. We recommend WPA security, since it is more secure than WEP. However, for compatibility with some older devices such as gaming consoles, TiVo, and other network devices may only be able to use WEP, and WEP is better than no security.

Disable remote administration
When enabled, remote administration could allow anyone close enough to your router to view or change your router settings. If you never plan on remotely administrating your network, e.g. wireless connecting to the router, we recommend disabling remote administration. With routers that support this option, it is often disabled through the Administration section.

Change the default SSID name
he SSID is the name that identifies your wireless router. By default, many routers will use the name of the router as the default SSID, for example, Netgear routers will often use "Netgear' as the SSID. This is a security risk since it identifies the brand of the router and would let any attacker immediately know what exploits to use. When naming the router do not use your family or any other identifiable information. For example, if the SSID contains your families last name it can identify by any neighbor.

Enable router firewall
Many routers will also have their own firewall that can be enabled. If available, we suggest enabling this feature as it will help add an extra layer of security for your network.  

Keywords: Communications Software, Computer Components, Computer Maintenance, Computer Networking, Computer Services, Computer Support, Computers, Consulting, Data Backup & Recovery Strategies, Information Technology Consultancy, It Services, It Solutions, It Support, Spam & Antivirus Solutions, Support, Telecommunications,

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