Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Are Wireless Networks Truly Secure?



With the popularity of wireless devices reaching 'new heights' over the past decade, most people are now using wireless networks to connect their devices and computers to the web. Most computers, laptops, mobile devices like smartphones now have wireless capabilities that essentially allow people to get online 'out of the box.'

People can get online 'out of the box' as long as they already have a wireless router and adapter installed in their home. Installing a router usually entails creating a wireless network for the home's devices to access and connect.

Since networks need some kind of security implemented to protect its connectivity, most wireless routers and/or access points are already pre-configured with a WEP security key or password.

The issue with network security

Although most people assume that using a WEP security key is secure, it's not actually as secure as most people think. Some studies have even found that WEP security can be cracked in a little as a minute, mainly due to the flaws that exist in current WEP authentication protocol.

Even WPA security isn't secure enough, as its existing deauthentication protocol also has issues with staying secure. 



Due to problems like the aforementioned, no wireless network is truly secure, especially if people are still using WEP or WPA as a security option. Using either way, it's always possible for unwanted visitors to 'snoop' in people's private home networks or find ways to impede the traffic going through that same network.

Though, as long as you understand how to make your wireless network 'truly secure,' you can set up your wireless network to harbor enough security that will keep your home network safe.

Can you make your wireless network more secure?

You can always reduce the security problems in a wireless network by configuring its settings, usually found in the wireless router's web administration interface. You can always access this interface by typing your wireless router's IP address into a web browser.

Before you change your password, configure your router to use WPA2, the safest security configuration for setting a password for your wireless network. WPA2, as of now, isn't crackable via conventional 'security-busting' methods. In other words, most savvy people won't be able to 'break' into your wireless network.

WPA/WPA2 encryption is known to encrypt data packets that pass through the WLAN. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), when paired with a strong password, simply protects a wireless network better against breaches and other attacks in a wireless network.

Changing the default password also helps protect your network, as it will prevent others from getting into your network by 'sheer luck' or by finding out the password on your physical wireless router.

You might also need to change your SSID, the label usually assigned to your router when you 'search' for it when connecting via a wireless device.

Some intruders can actually force their way onto a network by using a network's SSID, since many SSIDs indicate the brand and/or model of a wireless router. Changing that to something more unique will likely keep the identity of your wireless router 'under wraps' and better protected against intruders.

How to Manage Your Email Better



Envelopes and stamps are quickly becoming a thing of the past. With cyber technology we are now able to send letters and messages within seconds. This ease of access tends to lead to email overload.

Separate Email Addresses

It is often a good idea to use separate email addresses for business and personal use. There are significantly less chances of getting a virus or malware in the important business files this way. This also lessens the chance of junk mail being delivered to important accounts. So, only use contacts you are familiar with for business matters.

Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail offer free email addresses. The processes are quick and easy. The only requirements are listing a few basic details. These user friendly messaging services are easy enough for the most inexperienced computer user.



Folders 

The best way to organize emails is by using folders. You are not limited to the number of folders you can have on an account. This is a good way to keep track of purchases and items of interest. Having different folders based on the sender can help organize your inbox.
Most free email services have a limited amount of storage available. Some can allow for more data, but there is usually a monthly fee involved. Backup storage of your emails is another important feature. Should you accidentally delete/trash an important email you can easily retrieve it. 

Apps

If you are constantly on the go, then downloading an app that allows you quick access to your email is a great idea. Most phones and tablets allow you to access your email easily. Once you have put in your email account information and passwords the mobile devices store the information. This allows for one click access to your messages.

Apps can encourage you to check your email on a regular basis. When we let our inbox become too full, we are less likely to read all the emails thoroughly. We are also less likely to clean it completely out once we see that it is so full. 

It is a good idea to protect your mobile devices with passwords. Account information such as your email can be easily hacked into should you misplace your phone or tablet. Managing your email is not only about ease of access, but protection as well.

Unwanted Items

Email programs usually do a good job of putting spam or unwanted mail in the junk mail box. Sometimes errors occur. If you haven’t received an email you are expecting, then verify that it is not been misplaced into the junk mail box.

Delete unwanted messages on a regular basis. Junk mail folders must be emptied out as well as the delete box. This will free up vital storage space on your email account. When something is deleted it can be recovered before you empty the delete folder. 

Do not open email from suspicious sources. Once opened viruses and spyware can be automatically downloaded into your computer. Using antivirus protection such as Norton can help eliminate these possible threats.