Protecting Your Wireless Network
| A home wireless network can be incredibly useful and convenient, but it’s a new concept in home networking that needs new security solutions. |
Check out our guide to Wireless Protection below:
Wireless network security
When you set up a wireless network in your house, the broadband signal is sent out from your router – it’s no longer necessary to physically connect to your network, and your network is no longer contained by the walls of your house. While this is really convenient for you, it creates a whole new set of security challenges. But protecting your wireless network is essential if you want to keep your connection private and hacker-free.
How do I check if my wireless network has security?
Go to My Network Places and scan for your wireless network. In the list that appears, there should be a picture of a padlock next to the name of your network. If there is no padlock, then you need security.
One of the threats to your wireless network is that other users might log on. At best, this means they can use your connection and slow it down, and at worst they can hack into your personal files.
What security methods are available?
You need a wireless encryption key. This is a series of numbers and letters, working like a password turning data into a code before transmission and making hacking more difficult. The most commonly used methods are:
- WEP with 64bit or 128bit encryption strength – a simple 64 or 128Bit encryption but offers limited security and is relatively easy to break.
- WPA-PSK (WPA-Personal) - in the forms of WPA-TKIP which offers better security and is backwards compatible with older routers and USB keys, and WPA2-AES which offers the best security and performance but less compatibility.
Is there anything else I can do?
As well as having an encryption key, there are a few other ways of protecting yourself when you go wireless:
- Firewall – either built into your router or as software on your PC, this will help to protect you from hackers
- Anti-virus software – such as Norton or McAfee, to protect you from computer viruses
- Anti-spyware software – to prevent spyware from collecting personal information about you
- Anti-phishing – to alert you if you have gone to a listed fraudulent website
You should also regularly run live updates on windows and your anti-virus to ensure that your security is always up-to-date.
What is wireless isolation?
Wireless isolation takes your security to that extra level. It allows you to stop other PCs from detecting your wireless signal. This would hide the name of your signal service set identifier (SSID) meaning that the information on your network would be completely isolated. Wireless isolation is built in to some routers but must be enabled by the user – check your router instructions for details.
What is an access list?
Access lists are basically an extra level of security on your network. As well as having to have the password for your network, users would also have to be on the access list. Your router’s instructions will explain how to isolate and filter a MAC address, which is what you need to create an access list.
source : http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/protecting-your-wireless-network.html