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Defending Your Cloud: Wifi Hotspot Security

Securing a wireless access point can be one of the most important steps a user can take to protect their computer from hackers, viruses and malicious software. Hackers no longer need to hack into their victims computer directly and can obtain personal information simply by being connected to the same network as that user. Even in a scenario not involving identity theft unauthorized access uses network resources and having a large number of people connected to a single network could slow a home or office network substantially. A Strong password paired with stable router settings could reduce the risk of unauthorized access and ensure that the user's data is indeed protected.

Let the Right One In.

One of the best ways a user can cut down on unwanted access is to secure their network with a password. Most wireless access points come with either a default password such as "Admin", "password", or some other simple phrase that is meant to be used to configure the device for use the first time it's connected. After configuration, this password should be changed immediately. There are several encryption types from WEP-16bit to WPA2. A good rule of thumb to remember when choosing an encryption type is to choose a type that is both secure and suits the user's needs. For most purposes WEP-64 or WEP-128 bit encryption should be enough for most standard home networks. However, WPA or WPA2 could be the best choice if higher security is needed such as if the user has highly sensitive documents on their computer such as health records or financial information.

Policing Your Network.

Many times a wireless access point is paired up with a router. In these cases, all the wireless access point's settings can be changed via the router settings page, which is normally reached by typing either or into an internet browser's address bar. However, this area can be quite confusing and if the wrong settings are changed the results could be disastrous. In most cases a user will only need to change their password information or encryption type using this panel. If any other settings do need to be changed, the user should consult a professional before attempting to adjust anything they don't understand.

In conclusion, although wireless security is often perceived as something complex and difficult it can in reality be fairly easy and many of the same steps used to secure a standard desktop or laptop computer can be applied to wireless security as well. Ultimately it's up to the user to research their security needs and then implement a proper solution whether it be simple or complex.

Austin, Texas has been Peter Wendt's writing headquarters for a number of years now. For readers who wish to learn more about this subject, he recommends they check out Wireless Hotspot Installation.

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