If the experts are giving this sort of advice what chance do we stand?

Wireless security is something pretty important to us all. Most people understand that we need to make sure we’ve covered to stop other people jumping on the network (which your paying for!)

However most end users / business owners don’t understand what to do to make them the most secure

Why should they understand the difference between WEP and WPA?!

I still don’t understand why wireless equipment still comes with WEP to be honest. If it’s not secure don’t make it an option! Yes I understand that we need to make sure new hardware is compatible with old hardware and I’m hoping as older kit eventually gets replaced WEP will be dropped as an option. Can’t we can make WPA the default option? or have the user go through a couple of “are you really sure?” prompts before enabling WEP

What winds me up is when your given bad advice by people you expect to trust

One of the things i see all the time is recommendations to hide your SSID to help make you more secure

How about this for an example

“Hide your wireless network
You can ‘hide’ your wireless network by hiding your SSID. Your SSID works like a password, so only people that know your SSID can access the network. You’ll be able to find more information on how to do this in the instructions that came with your hardware. Be sure to set an SSID that doesn’t give away any important information, for example, do not include your name or address.”

Hiding your SSID wont do anything to put off a determined thief and in some situations can make it harder for you to use. What makes this even worse is that it likens your SSID to a password! In fairness the advice to not include any personal information is sound

So where did i find that nugget

On the Plusnet website (take a look here

A UK based ISP recently taken over by BT. They are advising end-users that this is good security best practise. I have friends and family who are on Plusnet and if i tried to explain to them how best to secure their wireless they could quite simply say

“I was just doing as my ISP told me”

I found a good article by Steve Riley on why hiding your SSID isn’t enough. It also explains why MAC address filtering isn’t that great either

Make sure your using WPA encryption on your wireless network!

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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