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Do you know the difference between WPA, WPA2, WEP and Open Encryption?
Do you know which one you are currently using on your wireless router?
By now most people should know NEVER to do online banking or login to sensitive accounts in public places. Being connected to a public network means that everyone else that is on the same network has potential access to your private credentials.
Hackers are not people sitting in front of a computer in a dark room while wearing a balaclava (like the news likes to depict). They are average looking people like you and me.
These hackers use a method called “Man in the Middle” to route traffic going to and from your computer to their computer. By doing this they can sift through all your web traffic and pick out whatever passwords or important information they come across, and you wouldn’t even know.
This can happen in any public location, airports, coffee shops, hotels and so on.
But what about your home?
The same threats apply, that’s why you need to know if your wireless router is secure.
A wireless router that is protected with WEP encryption can be cracked in less than 10 minutes. A router protected with WPA2 can be cracked quickly if using a weak password. If your wireless encryption is set to open, well then you’re giving everyone permission to snoop around on your network.
The current standard for wireless encryption is WPA2, so make sure your router is set to that. It doesn’t end there, you need to make sure the password you use to protect your wireless contains uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters. A WPA2 password can easily be cracked if you use a weak password.
So what do you do if you’re forced to use a public network? Bring your own! Phone service providers offer plans to use your cell phoneas a wireless hotspot. Another cheaper alternative could be to purchase a “portable router”. These routers will let you quickly piggyback off a public network to create your own private network.
To find out how to better protect yourself contact the friendly and helpful staff at Topics Design & Computer Repair.