Do you have a wireless router? Is it appropriately configured to be secure? Why bother? I've three reasons.
- War Driving - The recent revelation by Google of its inadvertent collection of publicly broadcasted SSID (the Wi-Fi network name) and MAC addresses (device identifier) while conducting their Street View data collection should serve as a reminder to tighten up our router security. Remember, anyone driving or sitting in proximity to your business, home or office may be within the exploitable footprint of Wi-Fi signal. Once within your router's footprint they too can collect your SSID and MAC addresses, and if your network is not secured, their odds of being able to collect the information traversing from one end of the connection to the next just increase exponentially.
If you see your neighbor's Wi-Fi in an unsecure state (e.g., open access) let them know. Don't assume the owner configured the device, perhaps it was a more technically savvy neighborhood high school student or a for hire network installer -- who in both cases failed to put a WPA2 password in place. In Queensland, Australia the police are identifying unprotected Wi-Fi during their routine patrols and notifying their owners in an effort to protect unwary citizens from their own unprotected routers. This is something suitable for neighborhood watch organizations.
Use a strong password (8-14 characters which aren't a word and include non-predictable symbols [ e.g. (B$@iJH91$(~(K ]. If your router is using WEP encryption and not WPA2 then think about upgrading that router of yours. You may also consider limiting access to your network to MAC addresses you own or know. Don't forget to set up separate guest connectivity to leave a clear audit trail distinguishing between your use and guest users whom you have no control over. This could be especially important for the small business owner whose network may be used by an unscrupulous individual.
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