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ADVICE ON SECURING A WIRELESS NETWORK

Source: WTHR Television (Indianapolis)

Posted on February 24, 2004

      1. Change the username and password for your router from the default.

      2. Change the SSID from the default and disable SSID Broadcasting.

      3. Enable WEP Security, generate or supply a key and populate the clients with the key.

      4. Configure the MAC Address Filter List and restrict access to those addresses.

      5. Enjoy Safe Surfing.

      This is a brief list of a few basic tips the home user can easily check. It is NOT intended to be comprehensive.

      It is very important to follow the vendor's recommendations for securing your wireless devices and systems. If you no longer have the documentation, you can probably obtain it from the vendor's web site.

      If you want to start securing your wireless network, think C, D, E, F (Change, Disable, Encrypt, Filter/Firewall).

      You know your wireless is open IF:

      1. You haven't Changed all default passwords, SSIDs, and accounts. Make the passwords and SSIDs long and very difficult to guess.

      2. You haven't Disabled or blocked SSID broadcast messages. Don't forget to block any non-essential network services and broadcast messages.

      3. Your wireless network is not Encrypted (WEP, WPA, etc.) using the highest level of encryption possible (128 bits or higher). Don't forget to choose encryption keys that are long and very difficult to guess. Change your encryption keys frequently.

      4. You aren't Filtering on MAC addresses. The only MAC addresses you should allow are the ones on your internal network. Don't forget to enable the Firewall (if your Wireless Router has one).

      As always, don't forget to periodically Upgrade the firmware and software on your wireless devices and PCs. This also includes personal firewalls and anti-virus software. This will help to enhance the level of protection for your PCs and networks.

      These recommendations are security "best practices" that should fit most situations.




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