Today’s world is full of wireless networks. Many of us have them in our home now. Myself, I have a Linksys router which employs with wired and wireless connections. I se the wireless in order to connection PCs that are in other rooms or my notebook to my office network. But, think about it – if you can connect to your wireless network, somebody standing outside your house or in your neighbor’s house probably can, too. Unless you use some kind of security on your wireless network. While you face more security risks from your internet connection than you do your wireless, there is still no point inproviding such a convenient potential security hole.
The 802.11B-based LAN (which most of us use) can use what is called WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) to encrypt data sent over your wireless network. WEP has its weaknesses, but it is much better than having no security at all. When you buy networking equipment such as a router, make sure it supports 128-bit WEP encryption. Enable your wireless WEP security. You will need to set up keys. Some hardware uses a passphrase method where you can type in a phrase of your choice which is then used to generate a hexadecimal key. Others make you enter your own hexadecimal key. Once you have set up WEP on your router, you will need to configure each PC which is going to access your network via wireless. Go into your wireless network settings by right-clicking on your wireless connection, choosing Properties, hitting the Wireless Networks tab. In your list of preferred networks, choose your network and choose Properties. On this screen you can enter your network key.
As a bonus tip for today, make sure you set your router login to something not default. All routers have their own IP address which you can use to visit the router configuration in your web browser and configure it. This configuration is password protected, but it comes out of the box with a default . Many people do not change this information from the default, and believe me, anybody who knows enough to be able to hack into your network is going to know what the default logins are to the various routers on the market.
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