Paying the Price For Poor Wireless Network Security

September 25th, 2009

Computer SecurityOver the past several years there have been many cases of people and institutions getting in trouble because of poorly-secured wireless networks (e.g., the now-famous T.J. Maxx credit card theft). The linked article has another example, this time a home user whose network was used to illegally transmit child pornography. In these situations, the police confiscate your computer equipment with no warning. Then it’s up to you to get a lawyer, defend yourself in court, and try to get your stuff back.

While the official Chad’s News position is that there is no such thing as wireless security, it’s still possible to make intrusion difficult enough that you’ll be left alone. For starters, use the WPA2 security protocol. If your wireless router does not support WPA2, then consider getting a newer one. Also, be sure that your router has the latest firmware updates. Finally, there are a few additional steps you can take—none of which will work against a determined hacker, but which will make your system less tempting. The absolute worst situation is to have no wireless security at all. It’s the computer equivalent of leaving your car with doors unlocked, windows down, and keys in the ignition.


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