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Friday, April 24, 2009

10 ways to improve the security of your wireless network

Wireless technology is now in almost every business and home, but a wireless network is inherently insecure and it is essential that every business ensures that their wireless networks are secured against the latest threats. Below are 10 simple tips for improving the security of your wireless network.

Implementing a wireless networking system can result in serious security problems if the system is not properly secured. In fact, some Internet service providers have clauses in their agreements that indicate that service is not to be shared with people outside of those covered by the agreement. If you deploy an insecure wireless network, it could result in a loss of service, or in the use of your network as a launching pad for attacks against other networks.

The point of properly securing a wireless access point is to close off the network from outsiders who do not have authorisation to use your services. A properly secured access point is said to be “closed” to outsiders. A wireless network is more difficult to secure than a typical wired network due to its nature. A wired network has a limited number of fixed physical points of access while a wireless network can be used at any point within the range of the antennas. To help you close these security holes, here is the first of our 10 wireless security tips

1) Do a Site Survey

We like to ask our customers this question, "Do you know where your wireless signal is?" Unless you know exactly how far your wireless network reaches, and in what directions it travels, chances are you're leaking a Wi-Fi signal that anyone with a laptop and a Wi-Fi card – including hackers – can use for free. A site survey will tell you exactly how far your signal reaches. We can help you measure signal strengths at various points in and around your business environment.

Businesses need to be aware that their network's AP signal could be traveling further than they want and creating a potential security breach. Encryption offers a good deal of protection, but the longer someone has access to your network, the greater the chance they can crack it.

Remember WEP encryption can be cracked. If your signal leaks out into the parking lot, you're giving someone the time and opportunity to hack you. If the signal's contained to your office, you significantly reduce the likelihood of an outside attack.

2) Plan antenna placement

The first step in implementing a closed wireless network is to place the wireless antenna in such a way that it limits how much the signal can reach areas outside the coverage area. Don’t place the antenna near a window, as the glass does not block the signal. Ideally, your antenna will be placed in the centre of the area you want covered with as little signal leaking outside the walls as possible. Of course, it’s next to impossible to completely control this, so other measures need to be taken as well.

3) Encryption

Wireless encryption protocol (WEP) is a standard method to encrypt traffic over a wireless network. While it has major weaknesses, it is useful in deterring casual hackers. Many wireless access point vendors ship their units with WEP disabled in order to make the product installation easier. This practice gives hackers immediate access to the traffic on a wireless network as soon as it goes into production since the data is directly readable with a wireless sniffer.

Encrypting your network makes it difficult for hackers to crack in and use your wireless connection, access your data, or perform other malicious actions. Encryption's an effective hacker deterrent.

The thought of trying to hack a 128-bit or 256-bit cipher is enough to send a hacker packing — and looking for an easier target. There are two types of encryption: WEP and WPA with AES encryption. The 128-bit WEP encryption can be cracked, but it can take up to four hours of work to do it. To date, 256-bit AES has never been cracked.

Most wireless access points (APs) support both WEP and WPA standards, but not all client cards (the Wi-Fi card that plugs into your laptop) support AES encryption, which requires a dedicated chip.

4) Change the SSID and disable its broadcast

The Service Set Identifier (SSID) is the identification string used by the wireless access point by which clients are able to initiate connections. This identifier is set by the manufacturer and each one uses a default phrase, such as “101” for 3Com devices. Hackers that know these pass phrases can easily make unauthorised use of your wireless services. For each wireless access point you deploy, choose a unique and difficult-to-guess SSID, and, if possible, suppress the broadcast of this identifier out over the antenna so that your network is not broadcast for use. It will still be usable, but it won’t show up in a list of available networks.

5) Disable DHCP

At first, this may sound like a strange security tactic, but for wireless networks, it makes sense. With this step, hackers would be forced to decipher your IP address, subnet mask, and other required TCP/IP parameters. If a hacker is able to make use of your access point for whatever reason, he or she will still need to figure out your IP addressing as well.

6) Disable or modify SNMP settings

If your access point supports SNMP, either disable it or change both the public and private community strings. If you don’t take this step, hackers can use SNMP to gain important information about your network.

7) Use access lists

To further lock down your wireless network, implement an access list, if possible. Not all wireless access points support this feature, but if yours does, it will allow you to specify exactly what machines are allowed to connect to your access point. The access points that support this feature can sometimes use Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) to periodically download updated lists in order to prevent the administrative nightmare of having to sync these lists on every unit.

8) Stick With the Same Vendor

Buying your APs and Wi-Fi cards from the same vendor increases your network performance and reduces compatibility issues, since not all vendors support the same features. “Turbo Mode is an example of this.

Some manufacturers build a Turbo mode into their APs and Wi-Fi cards. It's supposed to double your network throughput, but it only works if all your cards come from the same vendor. It could even be available only on a specific card within a vendor's line.

D-Link has an AP and a Wi-Fi card that are specific to the Turbo mode feature. The company makes lots of cards and APs, but not all of them support that feature. This is true of most vendors.

9) Place Your Wireless Network on Its Own VLAN

A VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) is a way of segmenting your network so that employees can access only the job-related resources they need without having access to the entire network.

Not everyone on your network needs to know everything. Introducing VLANs is a way to add a layer of internal data protection to your business. This is a somewhat more costly addition to a wireless network, but a good option if your business requires compliance with HIPAA or other types of state and federal regulations, or if you want to make sure that your personnel or other backend data isn't readily accessible.

10) Set Up a Secondary Authentication Mechanism

Authentication is a way that people can prove they are who they say they are in order to access a network or any secure area. The most common authentication method is the user name and password. But companies dealing with highly sensitive data might want to consider adding a second method on top of the type they currently employ.

A RADIUS server is one option although this solution can be expensive depending on the size of the business. A number of low-cost solutions for small businesses exist to help them use authentication servers that utilize the protocol called 802.1X. They include software packages like LucidLink or Elektron that runs on a local computer to turn it into a RADIUS authentication server, or hosted RADIUS like WSC Guard or

The type of business that needs a higher level type of security are typically hospitals or medical practices that need to comply with HIPAA regulations. Other fields include financial services that must comply with Sarbanes-Oxley or industries with the money and the need to install a locked-down wireless network.

Better learn more in wireless network

Online Surveys For Money

How To Find And Complete Top Surveys

If you have selected the completion of online surveys for money, it is important that you select the top surveys so that you will get the most return for the time and effort that you expend.

Online surveys for money has been proven to be an effective way to earn a substantial income from the home. Part of the success is related to finding and completing the best surveys. You can determine the best companies to work for when you take the time to do the necessary due diligence This means that you check out the ethics, professional attitude and methods of doing business to make certain that the company delivers what it has promised. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time in completing the survey questionnaires. Pick the top companies and enjoy the best income possibilities.

Not all Surveys are Equal

Online surveys for money come in many different varieties. There are those that are paid in cash, those that are paid in merchandise and those that allow you to accrue points so that you can spend them on gift cards or merchandise. Some surveys even pay with coupons or sweepstakes entries to some very nice prizes. Don't make the mistake of discounting all surveys unless they pay in cash or checks. Through the use of online auctions or other advertising, merchandise or products can often be sold or even bartered as a profitable venture to improve your income level. Surveys vary in difficulty and in the amount of time required to complete the list of questions as well. All these factors should be taken into account when selecting the surveys that you want to spend your valuable time on.

What to Look for in a Survey Company

Selecting the company that provides the survey directly or that provides listing sites for surveys should follow the same time of research that would be done in selecting any company with which you do business. Companies commission online surveys for money for many reasons such as advertising campaigns, market research and product research. This can make a difference in what they expect from those who complete the surveys. You will want to determine that the company has a good reputation for business ethics so that you can be assured of being paid accurately and quickly for the effort you expend.

Use Reputable Companies

The vast majority of listing companies that provide information about online surveys for money are ethical and have high professional standards for accuracy. You still should take the time to check out the reputation and spend your time on listing from businesses with the best credentials.

Stay Focused

When you set out to make a living or even to supplement an existing income through the completion of online surveys for money you can be your own worst enemy if you have not formed the habit of staying focused on the task at hand. This is often referred to as being a self-starter. When you work on your own from home, you are the only person controlling when you go to workFree Articles, how long you work and how well you work. You must school yourself to plan and prioritize the duties that will be required in order to meet the goals you set for yourself.

A lot of online surveys. You need to pick the top companies and enjoy the best income

Adsense Tips

Adsense tips include not only how to identify and take advantage of the possibilities of this innovative program originated by Google, but what activities are precluded by strict adherence to the program rules. Since Google has the ability to remove the rights of marketers to take advantage of the program based on obeying the rules, entrepreneurs are well advised to stay within the guidelines. Obviously if a web site abusing Adsense program techniques causes the business web site to be shut down by Google, it can cause tremendous loss of revenue. It may be difficult or impossible to reactivate a site that has been shut down.

Sell a Product Not an Ad

Adsense administrators will not allow the practice of web sites that are set up for the sole purpose of listing and promoting ads for products. One of the easiest Adsense tips to comprehend is to sell the product, not the ad in your marketing efforts. Use insightful and interesting content and present it in a way that will grab the attention of the reader. Failure to follow this tip can lead to the shutdown of your web site quickly. If you focus on how best to sell the product, rather than how to make the most money with ads, you will not run afoul of Adsense administrators.

Stay With the Theme

One of the smart Adsense tips is to stay with the theme of the website when you place the adwords. The words should be incorporated into the content of the web page, both in terms of the subject of the information on the web site and the general look or theme of the web page. In other words, if you use a particular font for everything on the web site, your adwords should be the same font. The same concept applies to the style, color and writing style.

Make Each Web Site Count

When you set up a web site for the purpose of a marketing campaign, take advantage of the many Adsense tips to increase your overall revenue level. You should focus on one subject per web site and work on building excellent content on that web site. By taking advantage of traffic building activities, you can have an increase in visitors who are interested in the information that you have developed and presented on your web site. Keywords associated with the web page content help to improve product revenue.

Rein in your Expectations

Another of the effective Adsense tips is to avoid attempting too much because you want to get rich quick. It is a mistake to open web site after web site in the hopes of earning a fortune in Adsense revenues from each one. In factHealth Fitness Articles, it is better to focus only on as many sites as you can adequately take care of. Each site should have your best keywords presented in a solid content that will attract the maximum number of visitors. Rein in the expectations of becoming an overnight millionaire and use your energy to improve the quality of your Adsense campaign.

*Using the Adsense tips, will give you positive results, but it is important that you understand the things to avoid in your quest for increased revenues*