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Wireless Security - tips for your home wifi

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porsche
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« on: November 28, 2008, 02:06:15 pm »

HI all, I wrote this tutorial, so I am sharing it here with everyone. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

Setting up a wireless network? Just like everyone else, you probably are, so here are a few tips to secure it.

1) DEFAULTS:

So, you just bought a wireless router, chances are you bought something like a d-link of a linksys. And all of the configuring we are going to do on this router, is done by a web interface, and to get there, it requires a password. The password that came with it, might as well not be there because every single one shipped with the same one, probably something like admin or change-me. I cannot stress enough the dangers of using a default password, its also staggering the number of people who don't change it, its like saying, I hate security, and want my identity stolen. Now, what to choose for a password, or rather, what NOT to use;

1) A dictionary word: programs will crack this in minutes if not seconds
2) Your Name
3) anything under 6 characters
4) all lowercase anything
5) anything important to you (birth dates, anniversary, etc.)

what to choose and some examples;

1) use numbers and letters
2) where you can, use capitol letters and lowercase
3) minimum of 6 letters, but a recommended 8+
4) consider not using numbers just at the end, but before, or in the middle

Some sample strong passwords;

27d0gSr4n (27 dogs ran, easy to remember, still strong)
14m0nk3Ys (14 monkeys, I'm running with the animal theme here)
0mgZ3br4as (omg zebras, another stronger password)

The warning about defaults goes to other things too, and often settings of popular programs, make sure you read your manual, and online to find out what you are in danger of.

2) Encryption

Can't stress this enough, because there are just too many people who leave there data lying around for anybody to come and take. Use the strongest encryption you possible can, preferably at the time of writing this, WPA2, with a good long key. You will almost never need to re-enter this one, so put it in a password manager, or a safe (basically anywhere that isn't a)sitting in your computer drawer, 2) on the side of your monitor, 3) anywhere else you wouldn't leave your credit card).

3) SSID

I would suggest changing from your default SSID, which is basically the name of your router. While this isn't necessarily a security weakness, leaving it the same would cause an attacker to pay more attention to it, believing it to be less secured (because it often is)

4) MAF

MAC address filtering is not a very good security measure, due to its ease of breaking it. However, it will keep some skiddies out, and can't particularly hurt, and I would still suggest doing it.

5) Limits your users

Limit the number of people who can connect at any one time, close to, if not the number of computers that will be using your network. If you can't connect on one of your machines, then somebody else is on, and you can A) figure out who B)hopefully plug your security hole and C) stop them from doing it again

5) Its still on?

For most home users, and even a lot of big techie guys, you aren't online at 2-5am, theres no reason for your wLan to be on either. Many routers have the option of turning off the wireless access/all access at certain times. For instance, if you are going on vacation, or you just aren't home, why leave it on 24/7 when it can be taken care of for you.


These are just some security tips, if you have any questions about implementing any of these ideas, feel free to ask  Grin
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« on: November 28, 2008, 02:06:15 pm »

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atari
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Posts: 121


« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 11:12:40 am »

This is awesome guide. Thanks, man. Here is some more in regards to wireless security:

Wireless Wi-Fi network security tutorial 101 (part 1)
WPA and WPA2 (Wi-Fi security tutorial - part 2)
IPSec, VPN, architecture (wireless security tutorial - part 3)
Secure your WLAN (wireless security tutorial - part 4)

Enjoy.
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porsche
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Posts: 203


« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2009, 10:48:22 pm »

Use no wifi, stick with cable, that is the best wifi security measure! Smiley
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InForumz
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Posts: 5


« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2010, 04:09:11 am »

Everything you said was spot on !!

I'm constantly reccomending these same tips to my friends and family. Usually however, I get a befuddled look, and some comment like damb your paranoid. Paranoia is in the book of best practice when it comes to securing your computer, your network, and your information.

Some additional tips I'll give are:

When you're online don't surf under an Administrative account, use a limited one. Second if you want to run games on your network make sure you edit the scope of the ports to limit them to your local network if possible. Don't use the same computer to play games as you use to pay bills if you can help it. Next, don't let any program through your firewall that you don't know or doesnt specifically need access to it. You can always add it back to the list if you find out later that one of your favorite apps isn't working. Make sure your firewall is turned on. Don't allow firewall exceptions when using public networks. Log Out of websites instead of just closing them. Disable ICMP if you don't need it. If you don't know what it is then you probablly don't need it. Get rid of services such as messenger in Windows. ... It has nothing to do with MS Messenger. Disable remote assistance. There are many more things you can do but I'll leave you with this. Don't connect a computer to the internet if it doesn't need to be connected.

P.S. A last note and probablly the most important. Do not search WAREZ OR PORN sites without your guard up. When you go to most of these sites you're heading into a war zone.

I look forward to many more comments on this topic. : D
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InForumz
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Posts: 5


« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2010, 04:12:58 am »

Use no wifi, stick with cable, that is the best wifi security measure! Smiley

True, True but at $60+ per cable drop, wifi has it's advantages.
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atari
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Posts: 121


« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2010, 08:55:13 pm »

Great points. Something related to "When you're online don't surf under an Administrative account, use a limited one."

- Do not turn User Account Control off if you are running Vista

It may be annoying when you buy your computer, but there is a reason for it.
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porsche
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Posts: 203


« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2010, 09:19:22 pm »

I heard there are some USB flash disks that enable the intruder to monitor your computer. (You get a flash disk for FREE, use it in good belief, voila, you are hacked. -> Do not use what is not made by a reputable company and you get it for free.)
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