The amount of non-secure wireless home networks is astounding. It seems that most people just plug the router in, make sure they have “the internet” and just think that is all you have to do. It seems that Wireless Security which helps prevent bandwidth theft and data vandalism is last on the consumer’s mind when they install a home network.
This is a serious problem as most laptops, PDAs, even some mobile phones have built in 802.11x technology which of course is WiFi. If you are running an unencrypted wireless network then you are vulnerable to attack from any number of devices that could gain access to your network.
In my experience, when you buy a wireless network router, security is not enabled by default or even hinted by the software or accompanying documentation that it should be. As recently as the other day when I have spoke to Netgear Technical Help they advised me to disable Wireless security to speed up my connection! When I have had my laptop in London and browsed for Wireless networks available there are more on the list than can be displayed in one page, there is actually a scroll bar! I found that over HALF of them were unsecured!
I spoke to a Silicon Valley Technology Consultant about this issue and received the following quote:
“As a consultant I see unsecured home networks everywhere. Manufacturers of home networks should help customers set up a secure network from the onset…”
If that is not enough, I did a little research and spoke to a few more people and learned that because of the lack of security on a network they work near on a regular basis, their laptop jumps straight onto the other network with no warning. This has become irritating. The user went as far as to change the SSID on the unsecured wireless router to “IHAVEBEENHACKED” this in my opinion is a great change from the default “NetGear.”
Another Tech Expert I spoke to told me “this state of affairs is akin to driving down the internet super highway with no seatbelt”
If you are not sure if your wireless network is secure or not you should make it a priority. Look at the documentation that came with your router, or Google it. If all else fails get in touch with your Router manufactures technical support and ask them. Modern routers are capable of two kinds of encryption, WEP and WPA. By many studies WPA is stronger security but not all WiFi receiving cards support it.
Prevent yourself from bandwidth theft and data vandalism. Check your wireless security before it is too late!