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Wireless Network Security
When you go wireless, it’s a whole new ballgame for security because your Internet connection is broadcast outside your apartment or house. So if you do not secure it, it’s like leaving your front door open for intruders.

To learn more about security your wireless network from intruders:

Change SSID
The service set identifier (SSID) is a unique name for every wireless network. Most wireless equipment comes with a factory-default SSID that is easily found on the Internet. The first step you should take to secure your network is to change the default SSID and turn off its broadcast, which easily detected.

Not changing the SSID means an intruder can access your network and the contents of your hard drives, including any personal data. “They can see everything you can see,” said computer security expert Patrick Gray, a retired FBI agent.

The second step to securing a wireless network is enabling Wired Equipment Privacy, an encryption protocol for wireless network. It’s not perfect, but it will prevent the average intruder from gaining access. WEP has since been superseded by newer protocols, but those are not fully supported by all wireless hardware. Gray also suggests that you have a firewall or your wireless network.

Set MAC Address
The media access control (MAC) address is a unique number assigned to computer hardware. When setting up your network, you can set your wireless access point to give access only to certain MAC address. By doing so, you limit access only to your computer hardware no one else’s. Hackers also may be looking for access to a corporate network via wireless, this would be a good step.

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a computer protocol that allows computer on a network to receive their configuration from a DHCP server. The configuration is usually the IP address, the unique number your computer is assigned when accessing a network like the Internet. By turning off DHCP and requiring that your computer use either a static IP address or a range of IP addresses, you again limit access to your wireless network only to certain IP address.


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