Establishing Barriers

When protecting your wireless network, you can choose from a range of services, applications, and common procedures that can lower the risk of being compromised.

Following your common sense

Here are some basic rules you can follow to minimize your risk:

  • Shut down. As silly as this method might sound, simply turning off your laptop when you're not using it reduces the chance for intrusion on your network. This technique also includes cutting the power to your cable or DSL.
  • Limit sharing. Allow your networked computers to have shared access to only limited files or directories rather than to hard drives. In fact, you might want to disable file and print sharing.
  • Add a personal firewall. A personal firewall installed on your laptop or on other individual computers provides another layer of protection between you and the wireless world.
  • Configure WPA. Use the enhanced version of wireless encryption, WPA. Ensure that all devices on your network are configured or set up to use WPA. If not, the less protective WEP wireless encryption becomes the default.
  • Disable broadcast. You can turn off the broadcast SSID feature that automatically searches for and logs on to a wireless connection. Instead, you then have to manually enter your login information or the name of your network.
  • Change SSID. Wireless network devices that you buy are supplied with a preset SSID, which makes access quite convenient for thieves. Because this preset SSID identifies your network, you should ...

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