Use Wireless Networks Safely

Use Wireless Networks Safely

Wireless networks allow Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops and tablets, to connect to the network by way of the network identifier, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). To prevent intruders from entering your home wireless network, the pre-set SSID and default password for the browser-based administrative interface should be changed. Hackers will be aware of this kind of default access information. Furthermore, you should encrypt wireless communication by enabling wireless security and the WPA2 encryption feature on the wireless router. Optionally, the wireless router can also be configured not to broadcast the SSID, which adds an additional barrier to discovering the network, however this should not be considered adequate security for a wireless network.

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When you are away from home, a public Wi-Fi hot spot allows you to access your online information and surf the Internet. However, it is best to not access or send any sensitive personal information over a public wireless network. Verify whether your computer is configured with file and media sharing and that it requires user authentication with encryption. To prevent someone from intercepting your information (known as “eavesdropping”) while using a public wireless network, use encrypted VPN tunnels and services. The VPN service provides you secure access to the Internet, with an encrypted connection between your computer and the VPN service provider’s VPN server. With an encrypted VPN tunnel, even if a data transmission is intercepted, it is not decipherable.

Many mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, come with the Bluetooth wireless protocol. This capability allows Bluetooth-enabled devices to connect to each other and share information. Unfortunately, Bluetooth can be exploited by hackers to eavesdrop on some devices, establish remote access controls, distribute malware, and drain batteries. To avoid these issues, keep Bluetooth turned off when you are not using it.

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