Post contributed by Rich Mullikin, a technology professional who has worked with leading IT security, networking, and wireless companies for the past 14 years.
Threats to wireless security are rampant, from software programs designed to exploit weaknesses in security protocols to the average next door neighbor looking for a “free ride.” There are even apps that allow intruders to snoop on your activity while you surf the Internet on an unprotected network, granting access to your passwords and user names. How often do you see your Facebook friends posting spam on everyone’s walls?!
We’ve said it a million times, and we’ll continue to say it: protect your home wireless network with a strong password! I must admit that I failed to do that very thing for a couple of years after moving from California to Texas. I was protected in CA, but while setting up my wireless network at my new home in TX, I was in a hurry and opted not to set up a password to protect the network, assuming I’d do it later. Later was over two years, and then finally, after feeling guilty for that long that I wasn’t practicing what I preached, I remedied the situation.
Password protected networks are now an everyday fact. Each Cisco router can be protected easily in minutes through Cisco Connect which installs automatically and offers a new name for the router as well as a strong alphanumeric password. There’s no excuse for not having a secure home network.
Here are two easy steps to staying secure in and out of the home:
– Do not connect to any unsecured connection. If the wireless connection doesn’t require a password, your reaction should be to “Just Say No” instead of saying “Oh boy, it’s free.” This applies to your mobile phone, eReader or laptop.
– Set up a strong WAP alphanumeric password. Cisco Connect does this for you, or you can choose to do it yourself. It doesn’t matter how you do it…just make sure you do it!