Beware of Wireless! : Tips to Protect Your Device, Identity & Freedom

Nearly every piece of electronics on the market today comes equipped with wireless internet access. It is very convenient to open your Laptop and instantly be connected. My X-Box streams movies from my wireless router without having to run expensive Cat-5 cable. The convenience not only extends to the consumer, companies are equally taking advantage of the possibilities an eternal connection provides. Software updates itself daily, all the while reporting information from your device of choice. It lets advertisers know what you are doing, where you are, and a whole slew of other tidbits that allow them to send you just the right advertisement for the new drink the Starbucks you’re sitting in has offered. Mobile phones have optimized data transmission to now allow you to stream a connection when you are out of range of a router. By definition, the connection allows data to pass freely from connection point to connection point. That means that if you are connected to someone with bad intentions, your Anti-Virus is going to do very little to stop them from wreaking havoc. Here are some tips to keep you safe from getting wirelessly robbed in the electronic age.

Protect your connection
Your wireless router at home needs to be password protected. Without this simple protection, anyone in range can access your network. Aside from the possibility of gaining access to your hardware, users will share your IP address. Don’t be surprised if the police or FBI come knocking at your door asking about the indecent pictures of minors, or cybercrimes that are now connected to you. By using an unsuspecting neighbor as a proxy, criminals all over the country are putting extra room between themselves and authorities.

Turn off automated actions
Everything concerning your wireless connectivity should be triggered manually. Laptops have a major security hole in the fact that they map wireless connections to match your home connection, work connection, and public connections. Cyber criminals take advantage of this with hardware that can trick your computer in to running through their network at a public location by mimicking your home or work connections. After you are routed through their machine, they can unleash their entire arsenal of tools on you. If you have to manually connect to a network to access the net, you will notice malware that connects to your machine.

Update your Anti-Virus, Set your security to high
By raising your security settings, you limit the freedom of actions or programs you didn’t initiate. More importantly, you limit the ports that data can transfer across. Fewer active ports are much easier to monitor for unusual activity, which your system will be much more suspicious of due to higher settings. It is easy to reset your security settings to medium or minimal when you return to a secure location. Only updated Anti-virus programs will stop an updated hacker, so make sure to check to check on it often.

Run Cable When Possible
Like I stated before, wireless connections are very convenient, however they aren’t as reliable or as fast as a wired connection. At home you can buy some cable to run from your router to the most likely places you would sit down with your device and browse the web. Having a wired connection near your favorite chair, dinner table or bed is just as convenient as a wireless connection, and will elicit the top speed from your connection.