An executive’s three-step guide to securing Wi-Fi

by | May/30/2012

The easiest way to secure your Wi-Fi connection in your home or office is to stop using Wi-Fi altogether. But what if you want to avoid the cords?

First, if you have control over the wireless access point, meaning the access point is in your home or office, set the encryption to WPA2-AES (Not WEP or WPA—that is as long as all of your computers can support WPA2).

Second, use a long passphrase (known as a pre-shared key or PSK)—up to 64 characters. As of now, to discover your WPA2-AES passphrase, attackers will have to “brute force” your password—but they can make guesses 100,000 times every second. So use a long passphrase that makes no sense to anyone else but you. Don’t share the key with others. Attackers will trick people into giving away the passphrase. If you do share the passphrase with someone such as a guest, change the key when they leave. Your IT professionals can set up WPA2-Enterprise which is even more secure.

And third, hide your access point or, even better, lock it up so nobody can push the reset button to restore factory defaults.

There are other steps as well, but those will get you started and provide a great deal of security.

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