Posts Tagged Computer Networking

Using Unsecured Wi-Fi Hotspots

July 15, 2013

Public Wi-Fi hotspots are trendy and popular, for the obvious convenience that they offer. No wonder most restraints, cafes, hotels, and other public places are jumping on the bandwagon and allowing visitors to freely access their Wi-Fi networks without needing a password. Despite how tempting it is to simply go ahead and connect to these networks, you need to be prudent while doing so, as you could unknowingly put your computer at a risk of getting hacked.

The following tips guide you on how to use unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots smartly, while keeping your computer protected:

  • Remember that Wi-Fi hotspots are always unsecured connections, even if they require a password to access them. This means that hackers can easily access your private information if you are not careful.
  • Some operating systems like Mac OS X and Windows have built-in security features that can protect your computer when you are accessing the internet through such a connection. Make use of your “Firewall” by checking the “block all incoming traffic” option. Another effective security measure is to disable fire sharing.
  • One of the most targeted personal information is passwords. Installing a browser add-on like LastPass could be effective in keeping your passwords safe. Normally, a hacker can easily view your passwords by accessing your Registry or viewing your keyboard activity through something like keyloggers. LastPass stores all your passwords in a cloud which means that neither do you have to type your passwords, nor will they be stored in your computer.
  • Websites that encrypt your activity are usually safe to use, since all the information accessed on these sites remains confidential. You can identify such websites either by looking for a padlock in the address bar, or checking the URL for https:// Even if a website does not have HTTPS, you can download an add-on like HTTPS Everywhere, which will convert the connection on most popular websites into an encrypted one.
  • Before accessing any public Wi-Fi network, you want to confirm from the owner of the venue that you have the correct name of the network. This is because hackers can create their own fake network with a similar name to the original, putting your information at a high risk.
  • Finally, even after taking all the above-mentioned measures, you still need to exercise some common sense while using an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Avoid activities that expose your private details, such as banking and online shopping.

Centex Technologies based in Dallas and Killeen TX provide Computer Network Security solutions. Call us at (855) 375-9654 for more information.

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Setting Up Computer Network in Office – Common Mistakes

June 28, 2013

Computers are a major part of any office or institution today. In fact, I do not think people can imagine office without computers anymore. It has become such an integral part of everyone’s lives. A computer network is necessary in most offices as it supplements sharing between computers and simplifies other tasks too. A lot of people prefer to set up the computer network in their office without the assistance of any trained professional. Doing so is absolutely fine but there are a few common mistakes people make, which everyone should be weary off:

Choosing the wrong hardware/software:
There dozens of choices in the market when it comes to choosing hardware/software and there is no shame in being confused. Most people don’t go into the technical aspects, and choose the wrong stuff for their office. Instead understand that most of the hardware comes with its own software and try to find one that suits your purpose.

Beware of Wi-Fi Cold Spots:
If you are relying on Wi-Fi connectivity for your office, it is common to find that the reception or connection is poor in some areas. This could be near corners or parts of the building away from the wi-fi router. To correct this, place the transmitter
(wi-fi router) in a central position and use additional equipment to amplify the signal.

Malfunction of network applications:
It is common that after a lengthy installation of a computer network, some of the applications will just stubbornly refuse to respond. These could be due to faulty settings made at some stage in the installation. Ensure that while installing the network, all the computers are able to connect and all devices like shared printers are in working condition. Sometimes one or two special devices will refuse to join the network. This could be due to some software issue. Check if the software on both devices is compatible and re-install.

Assuming that tech support is not necessary:
It is quite possible that you may refrain from asking for technical support from professionals till there is an evident problem. It is highly recommended that tech support be consulted while installing a new network to ensure that it is set up correctly. This could help you in the long run by making the network not require constant maintenance.

Compromising on network security:
The security of a network is crucial and should not be taken lightly. If not properly secured with encryptions and firewalls, there is a high chance of misuse and even theft of intellectual property.  Ensure that your network is protected and hack proof.

Avoid these common mistakes and you should be well on your way to setting up a computer network in your office.

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