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Keeping Your Wireless Network Secure

Keeping Your Home or Office Wireless Network Secure

There are more wireless capable devices available now more than ever, so keeping wireless networks secure to protect those devices is important.

Leaving your wireless network “open” (no password required to connect), can invite unwanted connections. Your neighbor who is in range can jump on to do the basics, like checking email and surfing. Or, he or she can connect and start downloading large files, which will cause a noticeable slow down on the network, and that can be frustrating. Some files being downloaded by a neighbor or someone else may be copyrighted, and penalty by law can occur as a result (for more information about copyrighted material, see our article at http://knowledge.gmavt.net/article/what-you-need-to-know-about-copyrighted-material-online-99.html). If a copy righted file has been downloaded by someone on your network, it will be traced to your IP address and you will be responsible for any charges as a result, even though it was done by someone else. Also, if a person is savvy enough, personal information on your computer could be accessed.

Password protecting your network is a way to keep your wireless network safe. When creating a password for your network, write it down and keep it in a safe place, and only tell people who you want to allow access. It is also a good idea to change the password once or twice a year or more often if you prefer.

Always use a “strong” password. Try to include at least one capital letter and at least one numeric character in your password. Use a password you are going to remember, but make it unique. The password you use for your wireless network should never be the same as your GMA account password, or any other password used to protect vital information (such as online banking, etc.). Avoid using birthdays, pets’ names, phone numbers, etc. Using them as passwords may make it easier for you to remember, but at the same time, make it easier for someone else to figure out.

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