Wireless computing gives us freedom of getting online without any restriction in time and space. Now you can take your laptop and get connection to the Internet wherever is offered wireless service. It can be a library, café or even beach. You can also purchase a wireless base station, called a router, for your home so you can get online anywhere in the house or in the immediate vicinity outdoors.
But from information security awareness side, you need to do some thing to employ these options safe.
What is Wireless network and how it’s work?
Wireless (Wi-Fi) or 802.11 networks is a method of connecting a computer to other computers or to the Internet without linking them by cables. This network uses radio waves, just like cell phones and radios do. This communication, across wireless network, is similar two-way radio communication.
1.Routers collect the signal and decode, and then send information to the Internet using a physical, wired Ethernet connection.
2.Wireless adapter on your laptop translate data into radio signal and transmit it using an antenna.
3.And vice versa … (howstuffworks.com)
Why this kind connection is so unsafe?
Because these transmissions occur in one frequency and mostly they don’t have protection against unauthorized access. So, that’s means that anyone in range can pick up the signal or transmit on the same time.
From what wireless network are at risk?
* From peoples who listening transmitted information – eavesdroppers.
* From anyone in the range who can connect to your network – hackers.
* From unauthorized users who use your broadband internet connection without your permission.
What can protect your wireless connection?
* Encryption – use encryption to scramble over the network. Better use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), than Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), because it is stronger.
* Anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a firewall – these things should be on every computer independent wireless network using or not.
* Caution – turn off your wireless network when you know you won’t use it and also turn off identifier broadcasting on your wireless router. So your computer won’t send a signal to any device in the vicinity announcing its presence.
* Limitation – allow only specific computers to access your wireless network and modify your router’s pre-set password for administration to something only you know.