UNH CIS Signals
Cyber Security Awareness Month

Staying Safe with Wi-Fi

Jason Boucher

wi fiThe majority of computers purchased today are laptops, which means better mobility – and with wireless networking, we now have the ability to pick up our computer and move to the basement, attic, or the bedroom. Although personal wireless routers are not allowed on campus (See the USNH Acceptable Use Policy), many faculty, staff, and students living off campus have wireless networks at home. Keep in mind that while wireless networks are not secure, it is possible to make it at least a little more difficult for unwelcomed users to access. You can provide a modicum of protection for your wireless network by choosing a manual setup (using the router’s control panel) rather than choosing the quick-fix of a wizard.

Once inside the control panel, pay attention to the following areas:

  1. Create a unique username and password for the router.
  2. Use existing technologies such as WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) or WEP (Wireless Encryption).
  3. Create a unique network name instead of using the router’s default SSID (Service Set Identifier)
  4. Create a unique network key.
  5. Use MAC address restriction

Instructions for these steps can usually be found in your wireless router’s control panel. See your user’s manual for more information.

Published on September 25, 2007.


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