Improving Security on Your Home WiFi Network

If you are lucky enough to have a WiFi network for working from your home, you need to be aware that security threats exist that can compromise your network and your data.

Like your PC, your router has software that needs to be updated on a regular basis. Most WiFi providers include a security system free of charge. My wireless network is AT& T which gives you the option of downloading McAfee which in addition to malware and spyware removal has a window for network maintenance. By clicking the Network Maintenance menu item you can see if your router or gateway needs any software updates.

The standard in wireless encryption is called WPA, which is an acronym for Wi-Fi Protected Access. If you run Windows Vista or Windows 7 on your PC or laptop, you should be able to also use the latest and greatest encryption standard which is WPA2, if not, you may have to upgrade one or more of your network components including your PC before you use this technology.

If you decide your data is sensitive enough that encryption is the way to go, follow these instructions to turn it on. Click on Control Panel, and then click on Network and Sharing Center. A box will appear that shows your router, as well as any printers or other devices on your home network. Under the section for your router, you will see a line that says Connection, click on the blue line that says View Status. The Wireless Network Connection Status Box will now pop up. In this box, you can view your signal strength, speed, SSID, and more, but you’ll want to click where it says Wireless Properties. Now box will pop up with your SSID followed by Wireless Network Properties. Click the Security tab, and under the pull down menu for Security Type, you can choose between WPA, WPA2-Personal, WPA2-Enterprise, and so on. Most people will be best served by picking WPA-Personal. After you click OK, your data will now be encrypted so hackers will have a much harder time getting at your personal data such as bank accounts, credit cards, and more.

Wireless networks are still a relatively new technology, but it’s best to stay protected since we all know hackers are always looking for a way to steal your personal information.

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