With Wi-Fi, your data is literally in the air, up for grabs by anyone with the right tools. It needs protection from nearby users who may want to freeload off you (which can slow you down) or…hijack your accounts. You need encryption.
Especially when you’re connected in airports, hotels, coffee shops, etc., almost always the connection is not secure.
Wi-Fi Security Options
Varying security levels are provided by WEP, WPA and WPA2. WEP is not secure. WPA provides moderate protection. WPA2 is the best. But you can use both WPA and WPA2. Use the “personal mode” (for one or two users) of WPA/WPA2 with a long, non-dictionary word passphrase.
For more than a few users, the “enterprise mode” is suitable, but requires a server. It has stronger security than personal, and each Wi-Fi user has his or her own password and username. Enterprise prevents snooping and hijacking among your organization’s employees.
Personal: To enable personal mode WPA2 on a wireless router, create a passphrase on access points or the wireless router. Type the IP address of each AP or router into a web browser to log into the control panel of each AP or router. Then enable WPA2-Personal with encryption/cypher type by finding the wireless security settings. Create a non-dictionary-word long passphrase—which is required to connect to the Wi-Fi.
Enterprise: You need a RADIUS server to get WPA/WPA2-Enterprise going. A hosted service will set up the server if you can’t. Some APs have built-in RADIUS servers. After the RADIUS server is all set up, input a password (shared secret), etc., for each AP or router. Input usernames and PWs for your organization’s Wi-Fi users into the RADIUS server.
Configure each AP or router with authentication and security settings. Log into the control panel of each AP or router by typing its IP address. Find the wireless security settings; enable the enterprise WPA2 (“WPA2”). Enter the IP address; input the password (shared secret). Users can now connect.
Robert Siciliano is an Identity Theft Expert to AllClearID. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video. Disclosures.