Many networks and small business operators love using wireless technology. It allows for fast and convenient connection of additional devices to any network. The problem is that the security is not as good as you might hope. You may be directed to think that the encryption with the access point makes it safe from hackers, but that is simply not the case.
Standard MAC filters on wireless routers are designed to allow you to filter out devices that are not approved to join the network. These are easy for hackers to get around by just using technology that monitors your traffic. After discovering the MAC codes to each device, a copy is made, and they will join your network with full approval, but adding stronger filters will close this open door.
Public wireless hotspots leave you extremely vulnerable to a hijacking event. There are tools like Firesheep and AirJack that allow a hacker to join the wireless conversation and steal your passwords, banking information or any other important piece of data you are sending through a public access point. There are even programs like SSL Strip that allow them to gain passwords from secure websites you visit. Using a VPN service provider only costs a few dollars per month and adds a layer of security using public WiFi networks.
Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption at your stationary point of access is all but ineffective nowadays. A more secure method is to change the WEP to the most secure encryption of WEP 2. Each manufacturer of the device has a different procedure so it will take some research, but it is necessary to take the additional time to get everything changed.
Having your administrator settings accessible remotely might be convenient, but it leaves a large open door for hackers to take over your network. It is better to set the security features as administrative only through the Ethernet connected device. This means you can only make security setting and access changes through the computer that is hardwired, but it is a much safer way to operate your network.
If you suspect that your network or devices might be vulnerable to hackers, it is best to have them tested by a professional service. Closing all of the easy access doorways can save you time, money, and your personal information from being hacked.