Many of us use our wireless on a daily basis, I know I do. But how many of you are using wireless in a secure manner? How many of you have your home wireless configured with the proper security? I’ll take a moment to outline some of the things you should consider while you ponder if this is an issue or not.
Keys to secure wireless use:
1. Use WPA or WPA2 as your security method for wireless. WEP is too easy to crack, avoid this protocol at all costs. If your device doesn’t have the ability to do WPA or WPA2 then you need to replace it with an updated model.
2. Make sure your router/wireless device has the latest firmware installed on it. If the manufacturer isn’t providing updates any longer, then replace the device with something more current. Very recently, there was a serious vulnerability that affected most of the wireless routers out there. Most of these devices are pretty economical to replace.
3. NEVER use public wireless to pay bills or purchase online unless your connection is encrypted. There is a special method to do this that I will explain in later blogs. For now though, just don’t bank or do anything with a credit card at a public hot spot.
4. Change the default password of the wireless router to a complex password or passphrase if the device can support that.
5. Never broadcast your name or any other personal data as your wireless name. You even have the option of not broadcasting any wireless name at all which is the desired configuration.
In later posts I’ll explain how to use the encrypted wireless at public hot spots and why this is so important. You would not believe how easy it is to sit in a coffee shop and see what everyone is doing on the wireless network. I’ll also go over how you can hide your wireless network and still access it from inside your house.
Again, these are all steps to reduce your attack surface. We want to give the hackers less to hold onto and grab when they are in the process of launching an attack.