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I don’t know why people do it, but for some reason when they setup a new wireless network they choose not to secure it either because they are to lazy to, or they don’t know how. This is the same as leaving your front door unlocked and putting a sign up that says “free stuff inside”. If you don’t secure your wireless network, anyone with in range of your networks signal can connect to it and leach off your internet, probe your network and if they are canny enough, steal information from your computers and hijack networked peripherals.

You should secure not only your network, your router as well. Securing your wireless network means nothing if anyone can log into your router and change the security settings. When setting up a wireless network use the following check list to make sure everything is in order.

  • When you create a SSID (your networks name) name it something short and sweet that is easily recognized by you.
  • When securing your network, use WPA2-PSK (this option allows you to choose the network passkey yourself so make it strong but easy to remember, you will need it to connect any computer or networkable device to your wireless network).
  • Enable TKIP and AES
  • Enable MAC filtering so that only devices with MAC’s listed in the router config file will be able to connect to your wireless network
  • Use your computers built in firewall for added security.
  • Create a new user name and password for your router. Make the password strong and write down your user name and password and keep it in a safe place.
  • Memorize or write down your routers IP address for easy access to the routers configuration page.

If you take the time to secure your network properly, you will probably never have any problems with people leaching off your internet or poking around on your network. Hope this helps. If you need help with setting up your network, hire professional help. If your in the Tampa Bay area, I am available for all your computing needs: www.ocstampabay.com

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