Business and Wireless Home Network Security
Business and wireless home network security is essential for protecting your wireless network and the computers on it. Wireless networks are very common, both for organizations and individuals. Wireless Internet access can offer convenience and mobility.
A wireless network can connect computers in different parts of your home or business without a tangle of cords and enable you to work on a laptop anywhere within the network's range.
Going wireless generally requires a broadband Internet connection into your home, called an "access point," like a cable or DSL line that runs into a modem. To set up the wireless network, you connect the access point to a wireless router that broadcasts a signal through the air, sometimes as far as several hundred feet. Any computer within range that's equipped with a wireless client card can pull the signal from the air and gain access to the Internet.
The downside of a wireless network is that, unless you take certain precautions, anyone with a wireless-ready computer can use your network and threaten your wireless home network security. That means your neighbors, or even hackers lurking nearby, could "piggyback" on your network, or even access the information on your computer. And if an unauthorized person uses your network to commit a crime or send spam, the activity can be traced back to your account.
Many laptop computers have wireless cards pre-installed. The ability to enter a network while mobile has great benefits. However, wireless networking has many wireless security issues such as:
- Hackers have found wireless networks relatively easy to break into, and even use wireless technology to crack into wired networks. As a result, it's very important that enterprises define effective wireless policies that guard against unauthorized access to important resources and a major threat to wireless home network security.
- Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems are commonly used to enforce wireless security policies. The risks to users of wireless technology have increased as the service has become more popular.
There are steps you should take to protect your wireless network and the computers on it. They include:
- Use encryption to scramble communications over the network. If you have a choice, WiFi Protected Access (WPA) is stronger than Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP).
- Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall.
- Most wireless routers have a mechanism called identifier broadcasting. Turn it off so your computer won't send a signal to any device in the vicinity announcing its presence.
- Change the identifier on your router from the default so a hacker can't use the manufacturer's default identifier to try to access your network.
- Change your router's pre-set password for administration to something only you know. The longer the password, the tougher it is to crack.
- Allow only specific computers to access your wireless network.
- Turn off your wireless network when you know you won't use it.
- Don't assume that public "hot spots" are secure. You may want to assume that other people can access any information you see or send over a public wireless network.
Be very pro-active in protecting and securing your wireless network. For more information on security issues visit the pages listed below.
Internet Security Information
Internet Security Review
Internet Security Software
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