Wireless security tips
Recently, I was working from home; it was such a nice day that I took my
wireless laptop out on the deck. While surfing the internet I tried to print
something when I discovered that I was connected to another business’s
Wireless routers have become very inexpensive recently. You can pick one
up for less than $50. Plug it in and you’re ready to go. However, most
networks, including many business networks, have not been properly configured
to utilize the security features that are included in many of the routers
Here are just a few of the risks:
- File sharing: would you let a total stranger have unsupervised access your computer? Other users on your wireless network can read and delete files in your computer, or worse. This could expose you to identity theft. Or, if you’re lucky, they’ll just crash your computer.
- Unlawful downloads: An unauthorized user could download copyrighted music. As far as the cable or DSL providers can tell it was you or an employee of your business, and that could land you in court.
Here are some of the things you can do:
- Change the password in the router as soon as you get it. There are
only a few manufacturers of wireless equipment. They set a default password
at the factory. The password for your router is easy to find on the internet.
Once someone has the password, they can open your network up to everyone.
Enable MAC address filtering. Every network device has a “MAC Address,” kind
of like an electronic serial number. The router can be setup to respond only
to MAC addresses you put on a list.
Enable WEP or other encryption schemes. This scrambles the data sent
over the wireless network and only computers with the proper key can unscramble
I drove a 1 mile radius around my home and found about 30 business and home
At West Fifth Information Services, Inc. we take the security of your
data very seriously, I’m sure you do too. If you are uncertain of the
security of your wireless network, call us today (908) 668-8444.