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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000109.txt from 2005/07

From: "Woodwind" <woodwind@-----.com>
Subj: RE: [kl] Re: Identity Theft
Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2005 19:25:27 -0400


Doug wrote:
[good basic explanation of router/firewall functionality snipped]

>
> They cost as little as $40. With wireless they are in the
> $60-$80 range.
> They may have changed in price since I last paid attention -
> and they may be difficult to get without wireless these days.
> Typical makers are Linksys and D-Link.

Most of the routers that include wireless also give you an option of some
sort to turn it off, so don't let that disturb you too much. Alternatively,
you can restrict access to the wireless network to specific computers, and
you can set a WEP key that the user must know to access the network (think
of it as a password that uses the characters 0-9 and A-F). If you do both,
you aren't perfectly safe, but you've made it much more difficult to get
into your network - the bad person would have to 1) Spoof the MAC address of
a computer on the network that has access and 2) crack the WEP key.

> Wireless is truly wonderful if you have a laptop - but it's
> important to configure it properly to avoid security issues.

Amen! While a determined person could possibly hack into your Wi-Fi network
even when you've locked it down, the reality is if you do a reasonable
amount of due diligence with regard to securing it, most won't bother. Why?
Because half-a-dozen other wireless networks in your neighborhood probably
aren't locked down, or not locked down well enough. Unless the bad person
specifically wants something from YOUR computers, he'll go try the unsecured
network half a block away.

Trish

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