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Beginners Guides: Securing A Wireless Network

Beginners Guides: Securing A Wireless Network - PCSTATS
Abstract: Modern wireless networking products are inexpensive, simple to set up and very convenient. They are also full of holes... security holes, that is.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Jul 30 2007   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Checking Router Logs

To access your router logs you will have to connect to your router's interface. Most home routers use a web interface which you can access using Internet explorer. Check your device's documentation for information on how to connect to this service.

Most routers will have a 'status page' which contains information on the device's connection to the Internet, its logs, security alerts, etc. Your router's log should be located here, along with information on which systems are connected. If not, check your documentation for information on locating these features.

Pictured below is an example of the log and connected computer status from an SMC Barricade wireless home router.

PCSTATS

While you are connected to your router, change the default username (if possible) and password to something more secure. This leads us directly into our next section...

Securing your data is very important. If you can make sure that your important personal data and files are well protected on your individual computer(s), you minimize your risk, even with an unsecured wireless network. Good password policies and control of network shares mean that the worst a wireless intruder will be able to do is eat up your bandwidth and surf for free.

This is impossible to stress enough. If you are using Windows XP or 2000, you must set a secure password for every user on your system!

Not doing this allows intruders to essentially have free rein on all your files. The reason for this is that XP and 2000 implement a hidden share on every drive in your system, accessible only to user accounts with administrator privileges.

Unfortunately, any user account created during the XP install process has these administrator privileges, in addition to the built-in 'administrator' account, and these accounts are not assigned a password by default, meaning that anyone who can find the username can access all files in your computer.

In Windows 2000, it is quite possible not to assign a password even to the administrator account itself, and of course 'username: administrator, password: (blank)' is the first combination any intruder will attempt when trying to get at your files. To set passwords in XP or 2000: Go to 'start menu/control panel/user accounts' and allocate passwords to all the user accounts you created during the install process.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Securing A Wireless Network
 Pg 2.  Network Security vs. Wireless Security
 Pg 3.  Finding Intruders on a Network
 Pg 4.  Checking Ports and Workgroups
 Pg 5.  — Checking Router Logs
 Pg 6.  Managing Network Shares
 Pg 7.  Personal Firewalls
 Pg 8.  Using Zonealarm
 Pg 9.  Securing a Router and Wireless Connection
 Pg 10.  More Steps to Securing a WLAN
 Pg 11.  Disabling DHCP on a WAP
 Pg 12.  Wireless Protected Access: WEP Improved

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