In-Home Wireless Networks: What You Need to Know

by Barbara J. Feldman on December 29, 2007

In home wireless networks enable the user to have the freedom to move their computer from room to room without having to worry about having accessibility to an internet connection wherever they happen to be. Wireless connections are especially beneficial to busy professionals who are constantly using their computers and need a network that can move with their hectic lifestyle, providing them with service wherever they happen to be. Wireless connections and networks definitely fill a need and add convenience. However these conveniences do come at a price. Often times the more accessibility and flexibility that you have, the easier it is for an outsider (such as a hacker) to also gain access to your system through those same channels. Therefore those who have a wireless network also need to take the precautionary measures that are necessary to ensure that their accessibility does not provide a predator with an invitation to peek over their shoulder. Here are a few security tips that will come in handy if you have already become a wireless network customer or if you are just installing your system now.

Security tips for those with in home wireless networks

Change default passwords — The first thing that you should do once you have finished setting up your wireless access is to change any default or administrator passwords to passwords that are unique to you. You understand the importance of having good passwords so make sure that you do not leave yourself vulnerable to possible hackers by failing to create a password that cannot be so easily guessed. Hackers are smart and you can bet that they are going to be looking for those who have not changed default passwords because they are easier targets.

Boost your encryption — Encryption technology adds protection to your wireless connection because it makes it much more difficult for a hacker to decipher any sent messages form your computer. Encryption technology scrambles and distorts any sent signals and then makes sure that those messages are only readable again once they have reached the intended recipient. Different computers and systems will handle encryption differently so there is not necessarily one encryption method that everyone should use. If is it an option for you it would be beneficial to choose a WPA encryption over a WEP encryption. But of course if WEP is your only option it is definitely better than not enabling any encryption at all.

Know your signal range and what is being transmitted — Wireless transmissions are truly amazing. Invisible messages are sent with the greatest of ease and somehow received by the right people on a consistent basis. But there are also some real issues of vulnerability that are associated with the signal range of your router. Sometimes that range grows beyond your scope of control. It is not uncommon to have your wireless signal reach as far as a neighbor’s home or even out to the street. When your signal is available to individuals other than those allowed in your home, you lose a lot of control over your security. In your settings you can decrease your signal range until it gets to the point where you are confident that no transmissions are happening outside of the range of your home.

Check your auto-connect and remote access settings — Wireless technology is meant to add convenience to your life by giving you access to your system not only when you are at home but also when you have gone away from home for a period. However having remote, long-range, and auto settings in place is not very safe. It is easier to hack into a signal when it is so long distance and often aided by the Internet. It is fine to use these settings when they are needed, but if you do not need to be using these special features, make sure that they are disabled.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "In-Home Wireless Networks: What You Need to Know." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 29 Dec. 2007. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1262/inhome-wireless-networks-what-you-need-to-know/ >.