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Secure Your Wireless Network: Workstations

Since setting up security on a wireless home network can be confusing and time consuming. While it's very important to secure your routers and access points correctly, there are some things you can do with your networking computers as well:

 

Enable Firewalls

Even if you already have a firewall enabled in your router or access point, consider also installing and running personal firewall software on all computers connected to the network.

 

Turn On Encryption

All WiFi equipment supports one form or another of encryption. This helps to keep your personal information safe by scrambling data being sent over wireless networks. Pick the strongest form of encryption supported by your network as a whole and make sure it is turned on.

 

Assign Static IP Addresses

Many home networkers use dynamic IP addresses because they make setup easy. But easy setup for you means easy break in for hackers, who can obtain valid dynamic IP addresses from your network's pool. Instead, turn off DHCP on your router os access point and set up your network using static IP addresses. Set a fixed IP address range and configure your devices to match. You can use a private IP address range (like 10.0.0.x) to prevent the internet from directly reaching computers.

 

Do Not Auto-Connect

Most computers have a setting that allows it to connect to any open WiFi network automatically without your knowledge. While this can seem like a good idea, since it saves you the time of manually connecting when a network is available, it is never a good idea to have this setting on. Connecting to an open network such as a free wireless hotspot or a neighbor's router exposes your computer to security risks. This is especially so if the computer connects to an unknown network without your knowledge.

 

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