The importance of Hacking 101

10Jul09

Of the six houses I have frequently stayed at over the last few months, four have wireless networks (and the fifth is getting one in the next few weeks). As laptops, and thus mobility, become more standard in homes, more people are naturally turning to wireless networks. And luckily each of those I’ve been using have been password protected. Wonderful! …or so I thought.


via Unpluggd

Lifehacker recently posted a few blogs on how simple it is to crack WEP password-protected networks. That link will show you what child’s play it is…scary, right? Apparently password encryption aint enough these days. Hence the importance of knowing some hacking basics…you can take measures to work against it! Here are the steps Unpluggd suggests you take to keep your network secure:

1. Use WPA2 network password encryption whenever possible: WEP is child’s play. WPA is still crackable, but a bit more difficult. WPA2 should keep those hackers at bay unless you’re housing vital information for a billion dollar case.

2. Update your router to the latest firmware: Updates tend to emphasize more security and added features to keep those baddies out. Especially if your router only currently supports WEP, a firmware update may add on that WPA2 at no extra cost.

Say a hacker does slip in. Take these measures to avoid bigger headaches down the road:

1. Password your network shares: You don’t want them sniffing through your stuff. Password protect folders that you’re sharing over the network for an extra layer of added, easy protection.

2. Play it safe with monthly antivirus and spyware checks: Chances are network hackers are looking to put something icky to steal your information. If you’re on wireless, make it a habit to do monthly checks to ensure your computer is running malware free.

3. Backup data: If they’re just there for trouble, they’re looking to destroy your system. Backups are important since hard drives die anyway, so have a solution ready in case the worst happens to well… happen.

I know, I know. This stuff is so buh-oh-ring. But set aside a little bit of time to check out your network settings. Backup your files at night so your computer works whilst you sleep. Most antivirus and spyware equipment can be set up to run at a certain time: schedule it to run once a week when you’re normally busy with other things. Anybody have any other tips for keeping your tech healthy and well-functioning (and free of scurvy digital pirates)?

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2 Responses to “The importance of Hacking 101”

  1. 1 Melinda

    have you had a problem with hacking? or are you just aware of it? You make me wonder if we should do anything with our stuff at home. love ya.

    • Nope, just came across this info and thought it was good for people to know! That’s what this post was for…to let you know what you should check on. 🙂 I’ll help when I come home next!


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