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Network Security 101

Networks and security go hand in hand, you should not have one without the other. Hackers, malware and even neighbors all want access to your network resources and a free ride on your wireless, and because a lot of people still think technology is super hard, they don’t bother to secure their network, or they rely on an inexperienced friend to do it. Below you can find a few ways to secure your home network.

Wireless Encryption is a must for any home network with a wireless connection. It is probably the most important part of security. There are several different algorithms, including WEP and WPA. WEP has proven to be an easy target and can be broke quick. WPA is much more secure and much harder to crack. You should choose a strong password of at least 8 characters long, which includes upper case and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. This will mean no one can guess your password easily.

Password protect your router. Your wireless router holds all the data and passwords needed to lock even you out of the system. So it is vital that a password is used on your router. This should also be a strong password to stop dictionary attacks.

Protect your hardware. Protecting hardware is a pretty obvious one, just ensure no one unwanted can access wires, routers or networked machines. If they can do this, they can probably gain entry to the system.

MAC filtering. This is another great way to protect your network, only allow trusted MAC addresses to join the network. It is easy to setup and also easy to add any extra computers to the trusted list. This option can be found in the advanced section of your router software.

Router Firewall. Enable any built in router firewalls. This will help stop any outside attacker such as hackers from accessing your network. You should still have personal firewalls on each computer, for extra protection.

View who is connecting. In most routers you can view a connection log, if you monitor this regularly you can see exactly who has been connecting and if you have had any unauthorized access. If you have, you can change any passwords, and block the IP or MAC address of the offending computer.

There you have a guide to basic network security. While nothing is bulletproof, the more security you have, the better. Good luck in securing any networks.

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