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More about Wireless Routers Security

Most wireless routers are shipped with all security measures turned OFF and with standard, well-known settings. When someone's network is compromised it is usually because they have not manually turned ON the security protocols and changed their default settings. It is only possible to have a secure wireless network IF you change the router settings. Pull out the manual and find out how to access the router settings.
E .g. All Linksys routers have the default ID as "Linksys" and by default this ID is set to "broadcast" (meaning it is made visible to all other networks within range).

  1. By simply changing the SSID setting to something unique and hard to guess (e .g. d23F6hsgj34) and turning OFF the broadcast setting, you have made it difficult for someone driving by to "see" your network.
  2. using WPA encryption (rather than standard WEP)
  3. Turn on your router's firewall
  4. Set a password on your router to protect your router settings specifying the exact computers you want to allow access (Full Computer Name can be found in "My Computer" properties window of each computer on the network)

Like any emerging technology, there are new issues to consider. Most of us know that we need to run an anti-virus program on our computers even if we never open email attachments. Maybe we even have a software firewall to prevent unauthorized access in or out of our computers when we are connected to the Internet. But most people using wireless routers just plug them in and use them without considering security issues. Their Internet connection can even be used by a neighbor - although you may even do this on purpose - better to give them the SSID and password than have an "open" service!


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