Securing Your Wireless Computer

Securing Your Wireless Computer



Securing Your Wireless Computer
Wireless Internet connections aren't just convenient for you-they also may be convenient for hackers .​
Fortunately,​ it​ isn't difficult to​ protect yourself .​
Wireless systems can be particularly vulnerable to​ digital intruders,​ possibly putting sensitive or​ private data at​ risk .​
However,​ you can protect yourself by using WEP or​ WPA encryption,​ which require users to​ enter a​ password before they are allowed to​ access your wireless network .​
These encryption methods are described in​ easy-to-understand language in​ a​ new book called Geeks On Call Wireless Networking: 5-Minute Fixes (Wiley,​ $14.95) .​
The book also offers expert advice and step-by-step explanations of​ topics ranging from configuring a​ wireless router to​ troubleshooting a​ slow connection.
Here are some additional tips from the​ book that can help you protect your wireless network .​
• Reduce the​ range of​ your network .​
Doing so can keep nosy neighbors from intruding on​ your connection .​
Move your wireless router into the​ center of​ your home and decrease its power settings .​
• Pick a​ new password .​
Most routers have a​ default password of​ admin .​
Be sure to​ change it .​
• Disable SSID broadcasting .​
Most wireless routers broadcast the​ names of​ user networks (SSIDs) so that other users can log on​ .​
This could be a​ security risk .​
• Use encryption to​ protect credit card information you send wirelessly over the​ Web .​
Also,​ only use your card on​ a​ Web site that has SSL encryption (look for a​ padlock in​ the​ corner of​ the​ site) .​
• Disable your wireless card when not in​ use .​
There's no better way to​ secure your computer .​
• Use a​ firewall,​ which is​ a​ program that shields your computer from Internet criminals .​
• Don't use shared files .​
Remove all important documents from your Shared Files folder before accessing a​ public network .​
• If you use a​ wireless laptop,​ disable the​ feature that attempts to​ connect your laptop to​ any available wireless network .​
For most Windows-based laptops,​ double-click the​ wireless icon in​ the​ lower right corner of​ Windows .​
Then click Properties .​
Click the​ Wireless Network tab .​
Next,​ click the​ Advanced button .​
Uncheck the​ Automatically Connect to​ Non-Preferred Networks option .​
Finally,​ click Close.




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