Keeping Your Computer Safe When on a Wireless Network

Wireless networks are a lot of fun to be a part of. There are so many conveniences associated with being wireless. Some wireless users would be unable to do their jobs or get the information that they need were it not for wireless networks. Unfortunately, as is the case with most good things, there are some drawbacks to having a wireless network. With increased user flexibility and accessibility comes a wider window of opportunity for outsiders, such as hackers, to also tap into that wireless connection. Therefore, in order to truly enjoy the freedom of having an at home wireless network, you will need to take the steps necessary to keep your computer safe.

Keeping your computer safe does not have to involve the purchase of fancy safety programs or hours of time downloading security features. One of the biggest things that you should constantly be doing in order to keep your computer safe is to practice some of the most basic computer safety rules. These include things such as listening to your better judgment. This is especially true in cases where you are offered something that just sounds too good to be true. You can also keep your computer safe by not downloading anything from someone that you do not know and being aware of other tricks that are used in order to install a virus on your computer.

Keeping your computer safe when on a wireless network also involves the regular maintenance of making sure that your firewall and antivirus software are up-to-date. Failure to regularly update your security features will leave you vulnerable to the new tricks that hackers are learning every day in order to navigate around security systems. Up to now the suggestions given for keeping your computer safe when on a wireless network have been basic suggestions appropriate for all computer users no matter their type of network. Now let’s discuss safety tips that are specific to wireless networks.

One of the first things that you should do after getting your wireless network up and running is to go through your settings and to make sure that any administrator or default passwords are changed. Making sure to have your own private password makes it much more difficult for a hacker to bypass your security system. If you do not change your default passwords, all a hacker would need to know is the default passwords used by the wireless companies (passwords that are very easy to find if not common knowledge among hackers) that you could be using.

Another safety consideration that is unique to those on a wireless network is that a wireless network uses routers to transmit signals. Those router transmitted signals can easily be intercepted if you are not careful about the range or reach that your particular router has. Again, you can adjust the setting of the power of the range of transmission to ensure that your wireless signal does not reach beyond the walls of your house. This process may take some trial and error to get exactly right, but you will want to take the time to make sure that your wireless signal will not be available to any neighbors or even passersby on the street.

Encryption technology becomes even more important for wireless network users as well simply because of the potential ease that exists in intercepting a wireless transmission. When something is encrypted it is scrambled and distorted so that the message cannot be deciphered mid transit. Making sure that you have the best encryption possible for the capabilities of your computer will help ensure your security whether or not you are currently using your wireless connection.

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Keeping Your Computer Safe When on a Wireless Network." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 29 Dec. 2007. Web. 1 Sep. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published December 29, 2007. Last modified December 29, 2007.

Personal Digital Security: Protecting Yourself from Online Crime
Personal Digital Security: Protecting Yourself from Online Crime
Price: $26.99