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Wifi Security: Protecting Your Wireless Communications

Wifi security is a bigger issue than ever.

What is Wifi?

Wifi is when you access the internet or a local computer network without wiring, but communicate with wireless connection. This is very simple to set up and it is why home wireless networks and public "hot spots" are popping up everywhere.

Wireless networks are highly convenient, of course. You can migrate your laptop from the couch to the bedroom without dealing with messy cords. Or you can surf the internet while sipping coffee or waiting for your meal at a local restaurant. While it is handy and fun, it may not be completely safe.

How can you enjoy the perks of wifi while protecting yourself from internet threats?

Protecting Yourself From Internet Threats

If you have a wireless network at home, take some precautions. First, make sure you have a strong password using intermingled letters and numbers.

Secondly, the best wifi security demands that you use good encryption, such as WPA (Wifi Protected Access) and OpenSSH.

Thirdly, "hide" your SSID (your network's name) so that it's harder for intruders to find; this feature is often included in a good firewall.

In addition, watch for intruders on your network by keeping logs of attempted access or scans. Of course, you should definitely have quality internet security software. Finally, the ultimate protection is (if possible) to shut down the network whenever you are not using it.


Encryption and Virtual Private Networks

In contrast to your private home network, public "hot spots" pose an even greater risk to wifi security. You're dealing with more people, less security, and therefore more opportunities for malicious activity.

As with home wireless, ensure first that you have good internet security software installed; the firewall is especially important. Look for an encrypted-and therefore more secure-network. Manually set your network location. When surfing the internet, check the URL of each site to see if it is secure.

Certainly, you should avoid accessing sites that carry higher interest for malfeasants (riskier for you). For example, do not opt to save passwords. Avoid instant messaging, checking your email or doing online banking, and ensure that sensitive data-like your social security number, credit card number, and passwords-are not stored on your laptop.

You may even want to set up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or purchase a VPN service for added protection. Still, like your home wireless network, your best defense is disappearance; turn wifi off if you're not using it.

Identity Theft Prevention is an Outcome Of Good Wifi Security

Wireless internet access is handy, but it carries some inherent risks. Take some time to protect yourself whenever you access a wireless network. Good wireless security is worth the effort. 

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