Everyone loves wireless routers, you don't need to plug into another wire or cable and can get access from anywhere! BUT did you setup your wireless
security settings so that your neighbors can't use your internet or
someone passing by can't use it for something illegal!? That's right,
even if you think your wireless is secure it may not be. If you are using WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol) you are not secure. Simply software available on the internet can acquire you WEP password after listening to some of your wireless transmissions.
You should be running WPA or WPA2 (preferable WPA2) with a strong
password, if your password is a single English word then your password
can be obtained via brute force dictionary file run against your wireless.
To this day I still come across wireless
networks that have been "professionally" setup that are using WEP. This
is not a good sign. Ask the person that's setting up your wireless network what security they are using and if the are using a password make sure its hard to guess.
How do I secure my wireless you ask? Well its not as hard as you think. First you must login to your wireless access point or router. Most DLink, Linksys, Belken and other consumer wireless routers have a web interface that you can access with a web browser. Here are the simple steps to find your router and configure.
Assuming you have logged into your router follow these generlized procedures bellow, you will probaly need your wireless router/access points manul to continue.
Some routers have the ability to see if they have new firmware. Read your manual and upgrade the firmware if you can. This can fix security holes plus enable new features such as WPA2.
Next, find the wireless security part of the configuration and enable WPA2. If that's not available then use WPA. If you only have WEP and you are running the latest firmware its time to get a more secure wireless router.
Most newer wireless routers will let you change the transmit power. If you live in a 600 square foot apartment you don't need to transmit for a mile? If you can get three of the five bars on your wireless meter everywhere you use your computer, you probably will have great wireless performance. Move the wireless to the middle of the area you want to cover and avoid walls as much as possible.
If you do the three things above, your wireless will be more secure. But remember in the future someone will most likely figure out how to penetrate WPA2 encryption so be vigilant and understand that going wired as much as possible increases your security by having less traffic over your wireless.
Lastly, if you made it this far :) and are concerned about your wireless security and need help, its possible for my company to help you! We have the tools to remote connect to your computer and help you configure your wireless security (while you watch). Check out our services page for more information.