The use of wireless technologies brings a lot of advantages, but is also subject to some serious threats that you should consider when you decide to switch from wired to wireless networks. You need increased protection, because letting your information in the airwaves means exposing it to hacker attacks.
Can You Protect Yourself from Malicious Use of Your Wireless Connection?
Security problems that accompany wireless networking are quite serious, but you can take some steps to protect yourself. The following seven actions do not require special knowledge and can be accomplished by any computer user, even if inexperienced:
- Make your network invisible – your access point announces its presence to computers with wireless enabled (“identifier broadcasting”). This is useful for public places that want to let their customers know that an access point is available, but you should hide your access point from other devices using wireless technologies, in order to prevent hackers from spotting it. This action is not foolproof, but it is still useful up to a certain degree.
- Rename your network – the name of your access point is usually a default name and, therefore, known by many people who deal with stealing data. You should choose a new name that is hard to guess by other people.
- Encrypt network traffic – the wireless access point should let you encrypt traffic between itself and your computers. Encrypted traffic means that the information is converted to a code that is only understood by computers that have the right key to that code.
- Change your admin password – when you switch to wireless technologies, passwords are essential. You should always change the default password that your device comes with. Be sure to include non-alphanumeric characters in your new password and avoid personal information like your name or birth date.
- Be cautious while using file sharing – if you really do not need to share your files and directories over the network, consider protecting them with passwords. Make them as long as possible and include special characters. Besides, never open your entire hard drive for sharing.
- Keep the access point software updated – update your software for the wireless access point as soon as new versions are available. Check the website of the manufacturer for new patches or updates.
- Check the wireless security options of your Internet provider – your provider may give information about how to secure your wireless network. Check the customer area for support and remember that wireless technologies must be helped to run safely.
While we try to make the most of wireless technologies, we should never forget that letting our sensitive information in the air may cause serious problems. Wireless networking is every day more available and affordable.
Home users prefer wireless technology to traditional wired access. Laptop users often search for free wireless connections in public places like coffee shops or airports. Using this technology does not exempt you from taking action against fraudulent use of information and trying to protect your data by using wireless safely, both in public and at home.
Some Threats That You Should Pay Attention to When You Use Wireless Technologies
If you are planning to adopt a wireless connection at home, be careful to what could happen with your personal data. Traditional wired connections also have security problems, but opening your connection to the airwaves is even more dangerous. Here are the three most harmful threats that could occur: piggybacking, wardriving and unauthorized computer access.
Failing to secure your connection when you use wireless technologies can let anyone in the range of your access point take a free ride on the Web using your wireless connection. This typically happens in a range of 150-300 feet, but may be extended to 1,000 feet under certain circumstances. In such cases, you could experience a number of problems like:
- Service violation, which means exceeding the number of connections that your Internet service provider allocates to you
- Shortage of the bandwidth – illegal users may hack your connection and slow it down;
- Abuses by malicious users – illegal activity of hackers could be traced to you;
- Monitoring your activity – your passwords and other information may be stolen;
- Direct attacks on your computer – this results in illegal access to your files, installation of malicious programs and spyware, ending by complete control over your computer.
This is in fact a specific type of piggybacking. Computer users equipped with a wireless device, usually a powerful antenna, drive through neighborhoods and spot the locations of unsecured wireless networks, and then publish this information on the Internet, so that other users can connect to your wireless access point.
Unauthorized Computer Access
If you let your wireless network unprotected, and your file sharing is also unsecured, this could lead you to a real disaster. Any malicious user could connect to your computer and access your directories and files, stealing valuable information. This means that, not only your wireless network, but also your files have to be secured when you use wireless technologies.
Wireless technologies are among the most spectacular discoveries of mankind. Since wireless communication is present in our lives, the transmission of information does not require any form of electrical conductors anymore, such as wires or cables. Information can be transmitted at distances of only a few meters, like in remote controls for television sets, or thousands of kilometers, like in radio communication.
There are numerous devices that we use daily, belonging to the class of wireless communication devices. For example, cordless phones, GPS units, remote controls, mobile phones and satellite television are all devices from this category. Sometimes, wireless devices are not as noticeable as the wireless computer parts.
Like anything in this world, wireless technologies have their pros and cons. They may be praised by many people, but may also find their detractors. However, anyone can make his/her own judgment by finding out more details about this new field of modern technology.
Advantages Provided by Wireless Communication
- Some advantages cannot be overlooked by the opponents of wireless communication, no matter how biting their desire to do so could be:
- Communication makes it now easier to convey information to consumers fast;
- Professionals, like doctors and workers, who are forced to work in remote areas, have now an easier way to stay connected with medical centers - wireless communication;
- Working professionals can access the internet anytime and from anywhere, without needing to carry wires or cables with them everywhere they go, and thus ease their work and improve their productivity;
- Emergencies can be notified through the new wireless technologies used in communications, improving one’s chance to receive the needed help in due time;
- Wireless networks require fewer funds to be installed and maintained.
The Most Important Cons
Although the development of wireless networks allows us to use personal devices anytime and anywhere, and improvements can be noticed in almost any field of our lives, we cannot ignore certain threats that wireless devices bring.
For example, wireless networks come with many security threats that we sometimes ignore. It is a piece of cake for experienced hackers to capture the wireless signal that floats in the air and use the information illegally. This is a strong reason to secure the wireless networks and prevent hackers from using sensitive information without our authorization.
Information can also be lost. Hence, strong security protocols are necessary to secure the signal and allow wireless technologies to be used to our benefit.
Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc is the name of the British telecommunications services that has been providing the technology of communications for over a century. This company took a major role of establishing and developing telecommunications around the world. The technological advancement of voice over data transfer has been approached with them. In the telecommunication world, Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc is a leading company, which provides the services in more than fifty countries. In 1852 John Pender, a Manchester cotton merchant shook hand with Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company and other British businessmen to establish a telegraph cable service between Dublin and London.
After becoming the director of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, Pender tried to lay submarine telegraph cables between England and USA in 1858 but it all failed functioning properly. After six years, under his chairmanship, Atlantic Telegraph Company merged with two leading cable manufacturers and stepped to the second attempt but this time also the procedures went into failures.
Then Pender formed Anglo-American Telegraph Company Ltd. with the help of Atlantic Telegraph Company and successfully laid the cables in 1866. In 1869 John Pender formed his own first telegraph company. the Gibraltar and Malta Telegraph Company in order to fulfill his aim of lying telegraph cable between London and India. After that he enlisted Africa in his desired submarine cable operations. In 1872 he was successful to amalgamate all the leading telegraph companies for establishing the new Eastern Telegraph Company. During the World War 2 the government controlled all the telegraph and cable services out side of Britain.
With the technological advancement Pender was able to adapt and introduce the advanced communication technologies. In the early 20th century the company made huge cable networks around the globe, as well as established various new routes along with doubling the existing routs. During the advent of 20th century, wireless technology has started to grasp the boom of communication technology. In 1934 the Imperial and International Communications, formerly the Eastern Telegraph Company got its new name Cable & Wireless in order to provide cable and radio communications. After having the new name Cable & Wireless Company introduced many specialized services. Hong Kong was the largest operating country and by 1972 Cable & Wireless Company launched a subsidiary, Cable and Wireless Systems Limited to give the services of microwave systems.
In 1993 Cable & Wireless joined hand with U S West: Mercury One2One in order to provide digital cellular services across United Kingdom. By 1994 it was able to acquire 13.5% of the British telecommunications market but from this time it appeared to face the increasing competition. In 1997 the company has gone into another successive alliance with two German companies Veba AG and Rheinisch Westfaelisches Elektrizitaetwerk AG in order to give telecom services in European Union Countries. In the same way the Cable & Wireless Company purchased 24.5% stake of Australian telecom provider Optus Communications to make the entry into Australian telecommunications market. Cable & Wireless Company is having various major partners and many subsidiaries around the world to hold its position in global telecommunications world.