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 10 Tips For Wireless Network Protection

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PostSubject: 10 Tips For Wireless Network Protection   Sun May 10, 2009 5:26 pm

Topic No (wn0001)

Many folks setting up wireless home networks rush through the job to
get their Internet connectivity working as quickly as possible. That's
totally understandable. It's also quite risky as numerous security
problems can result. Today's Wi-Fi
networking products don't always help the situation as configuring
their security features can be time-consuming and non-intuitive. The
recommendations below summarize the steps you should take to improve
the security of your home wireless network.1. Change Default Administrator Passwords (and Usernames)

At
the core of most Wi-Fi home networks is an access point or router. To
set up these pieces of equipment, manufacturers provide Web pages that
allow owners to enter their network address and account information.
These Web tools are protected with a login screen (username and
password) so that only the rightful owner can do this. However, for any
given piece of equipment, the logins provided are simple and very
well-known to hackers on the Internet. Change these settings
immediately.More Info

2. Turn on (Compatible) WPA / WEP Encryption

All Wi-Fi equipment supports some form of encryption.
Encryption technology scrambles messages sent over wireless networks so
that they cannot be easily read by humans. Several encryption
technologies exist for Wi-Fi today. Naturally you will want to pick the
strongest form of encryption that works with your wireless network.
However, the way these technologies work, all Wi-Fi devices on your
network must share the identical encryption settings. Therefore you may
need to find a "lowest common demoninator" setting.More Info

3. Change the Default SSID

Access points and routers all use a network name called the SSID.
Manufacturers normally ship their products with the same SSID set. For
example, the SSID for Linksys devices is normally "linksys." True,
knowing the SSID does not by itself allow your neighbors to break into
your network, but it is a start. More importantly, when someone finds a
default SSID, they see it is a poorly configured network and are much
more likely to attack it. Change the default SSID immediately when
configuring wireless security on your network.More Info

4. Enable MAC Address Filtering

Each piece of Wi-Fi gear possesses a unique identifier called the physical address or MAC address.
Access points and routers keep track of the MAC addresses of all
devices that connect to them. Many such products offer the owner an
option to key in the MAC addresses of their home equipment, that
restricts the network to only allow connections from those devices. Do
this, but also know that the feature is not so powerful as it may seem.
Hackers and their software programs can fake MAC addresses easily.More Info

5. Disable SSID Broadcast

In
Wi-Fi networking, the wireless access point or router typically
broadcasts the network name (SSID) over the air at regular intervals.
This feature was designed for businesses and mobile hotspots where
Wi-Fi clients may roam in and out of range. In the home, this roaming
feature is unnecessary, and it increases the likelihood someone will
try to log in to your home network. Fortunately, most Wi-Fi access
points allow the SSID broadcast feature to be disabled by the network
administrator.More Info

6. Do Not Auto-Connect to Open Wi-Fi Networks

Connecting
to an open Wi-Fi network such as a free wireless hotspot or your
neighbor's router exposes your computer to security risks. Although not
normally enabled, most computers have a setting available allowing
these connections to happen automatically without notifying you (the
user). This setting should not be enabled except in temporary
situations.More Info

7. Assign Static IP Addresses to Devices

Most home networkers gravitate toward using dynamic IP addresses. DHCP
technology is indeed easy to set up. Unfortunately, this convenience
also works to the advantage of network attackers, who can easily obtain
valid IP addresses from your network's DHCP pool. Turn off DHCP on the
router or access point, set a fixed IP address range instead, then
configure each connected device to match. Use a private IP address range (like 10.0.0.x) to prevent computers from being directly reached from the Internet.More Info

8. Enable Firewalls On Each Computer and the Router

Modern
network routers contain built-in firewall capability, but the option
also exists to disable them. Ensure that your router's firewall is
turned on. For extra protection, consider installing and running personal firewall software on each computer connected to the router.More Info

9. Position the Router or Access Point Safely

Wi-Fi
signals normally reach to the exterior of a home. A small amount of
signal leakage outdoors is not a problem, but the further this signal
reaches, the easier it is for others to detect and exploit. Wi-Fi
signals often reach through neighboring homes and into streets, for
example. When installing a wireless home network, the position of the
access point or router determines its reach. Try to position these
devices near the center of the home rather than near windows to
minimize leakage.More Info

10. Turn Off the Network During Extended Periods of Non-Use

The
ultimate in wireless security measures, shutting down your network will
most certainly prevent outside hackers from breaking in! While
impractical to turn off and on the devices frequently, at least
consider doing so during travel or extended periods offline. Computer
disk drives have been known to suffer from power cycle wear-and-tear,
but this is a secondary concern for broadband modems and routers.


If you own a wireless router but are only using it wired (Ethernet) connections, you can also sometimes turn off Wi-Fi on a broadband router without powering down the entire network.More Info


ARTICLE COPIED FROM compnetworking.about.com
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PostSubject: Use WPA2 or WPA2 mixed (if supported by your gateway and/or routers)   Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:59 pm

For point 2; I would suggest that everyone should use WPA2 or WPA2 mixed, these are the only strong standard encryption, which are not yet breakable. WEP & WPA are easily cracked.
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