Wi-Fi in a Nutshell
Wi-Fi wireless technology is one of the greatest technological advancements since the Internet. It provides mobility to computers and it is used in the office, at home and in public places. A Wi-Fi enabled device such as a computer or smart phone can connect to the Internet when it is within range of a wireless network that is connected to the Internet. It also allows communications directly from one computer to another with the involvement of an access point. Unfortunately, several problems can arise when computers transmit unsecured information to one another.
What is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime refers to illegal activities that take place online. These include fraud, spam, drug trafficking, identity theft, sexual predators, computer viruses, cyber stalking, spyware and phishing schemes. Although most people fall prey to these crimes at any one point, you can avoid them by securing your computer.
1. Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
Install WEP because it authenticates anyone who wants to access the wireless network and encrypts all traffic. There are two versions of WEP, the stronger 128-bit and the older and weaker 40-bit. The 128-bit version may be stronger but not all wireless devices on the network might support it. Although WEP is not perfect and may be defeated with advanced software, it can prevent unauthorised front door entry.
2. Choose a Strong WEP Password
Simply put, a weak password can easily compromise WEP security. Its easy to choose a strong WEP password. All you have to do it avoid using sequences or repeated characters, personal information such as birthdays and phone numbers as well as dictionary words in any language. Use long passwords with combinations of upper and lower case letters together with numbers and other characters instead.
3. Install Firewall
Firewall software prevents hackers from getting into your computer system so be sure to always have this switched on. To access your firewall settings, go to Windows Control Panel and click on Firewall.
4. Turn On Spam Blocker
Internet providers often offer a spam-blocking feature. Spam blockers prevent unwanted messages such as fraudulent and phishing emails from getting into your inbox. Keep the spam blocker on.
5. Turn Off Remote Administrator
Most wireless local area network routers come with a feature that allows the network administrator to remotely configure the router. Keep this feature switched off unless necessary because leaving it enabled could render the network vulnerable.
6. Use Virtual Private Network (VPN)
VPNs form a private network that uses a public network to connect remote site users to one another. VPNs offer security as they use authenticated links to ensure that only authorised users can connect to a network. In addition, they use encryption to make sure that others cannot intercept and use the data that travels over the Internet.
7. Install Anti-virus Software
Make sure you have adequate anti-virus software for your computer. Some of these software include McAfee, Norton and Stopzilla. Installing anti-virus software is only the first step in protecting your computer. It is important to do a once a week scan and regularly update the software.
8. Monitor your Childrens Online Activities
Children should only have access to a computer located in a central area of your home so that you can keep an eye on their activities. Regularly check all browser and email activity. It would also be a good idea to use parental control software that limits the types of sites that they can gain access to.