Since laptops have now become more widely used, most households and offices today use a wireless Internet connection. Laptops are equipped with built-in wireless cards, which enable users to be mobile while surfing the net. This is such a fun and cool way to connect with the rest of the world through the Internet—wireless and free-moving. Unfortunately, wireless networks pose some serious security risks to your connection and worse, to your computer. Hackers are very good at breaking into your network if you don’t take the necessary precautions.
In order to prevent your network from being hacked, you should know the different security features that can be used in wireless networks:
- Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems (WIPS). The most potent tool to thwart security attacks against your wireless network system. WIPS is used to reinforce the Wireless LAN configuration already provided. It is commonly applied in large business organizations. WIPS does automatic scanning of wireless networks and is guaranteed as very effective in preventing the system from being exposed to unauthorized users who are located within the vicinity.
- MAC ID filtering. This is a kind of filter system that allocates wireless access only to computers with MAC IDs. Caution is necessary though, because this feature can be cloned. Generally, you are given choices as to which MAC ID you prefer to use as part of your wireless network.
- Static IP addressing. By using this security feature, trespassers on your wireless connection will have a difficult time crashing into your network, because the IP address assigned to your network’s server is immobilized while another IP address is manually configured in place of the original one.
- Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). To make your wireless network as secure as a wired one, WEP is the solution. However, this is not a new wireless protection feature and is hardly used anymore because of its flaws. There is no assurance with this technique, as hackers can easily penetrate it. But if this is the only available protection you have, then you might as well use it, as it is better than having no protection at all.
- Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). This is actually an improved version of the Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP. In fact it was created as supplement for the WEP. WPA may bring good news, though users are cautioned that since it is linked to WEP, it may also be prone to hijacking by encryption experts.
- Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol (LEAP). LEAP, when combined with other security features such as the WEP, and MAC ID, is safe to use. Its makeup is quite complicated and intricate, making it hard for hackers to break through.
- 802.11i security. This is the latest security feature for WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) and it uses WPAv2. To utilize this you need to buy the latest hardware to ensure its compatibility. Being the newest tool, 802.11i security is considered as most effective and therefore preferred by more users.
Wireless network security is an essential part of online work. If you are a website developer or a provider of web services, you cannot afford to jeopardize your business when your connection gets attacked by unscrupulous users. It should be a part of your protocol therefore to safeguard your system by employing the best security device available.