Tales From the Unencrypted

Does your business have a wireless network?  Do you or your employees ever use wifi to catch up on work from home?  Think about all the data that could be transmitted over your wireless network – credit card numbers, bank account information, business secrets.  You probably don’t want to share that information with everyone who passes through your neighborhood.  But that’s what you’re doing if you don’t use strong encryption and take other steps to secure your home network.  Someone nearby could “piggyback” on your network, or even access the information on your computer.

It only takes a few minutes to dramatically improve the security of an open wireless network.  The most important step is to use encryption to scramble communications over wifi.  Most wireless routers have a built-in encryption mechanism.  WPA2 is strongest; use it if you have a choice.  It will protect you against most hackers.

To learn more about the best ways to secure your home or small business wireless network, check out this video featuring Yul Kwon of the Federal Communications Commission, or read the Wireless Security article on OnGuardOnline.gov, the federal government’s site for computer security and safety tips.  The article links to click-by-click instructions for configuring common routers.

Share the information with your staff – especially your IT people, teleworkers, or anyone who even occasionally squeezes in a few overtime hours from the home computer. 

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