If you have wireless access at home, and many people do these days, are you sure that you’re not sharing that access with the neighbors? If you haven’t setup the security in your router, you just may be.
Wireless routers come from the factory with a login name and password to allow you to access and setup the router. This password is the same password for every router sent out by that manufacturer, and is often times just the word “password”. It is surprising the amount of people who never change the entry password. If an individual gains access to your network, they will try the manufacturer password to enter the router. If they are successful, they can change settings, open back doors, etc. So the first thing you should do is to find the location in your router software where you change the default password, and do so.
The next thing you should do, and this will protect your wireless network from outsiders, is to setup the SSID name and password. The SSID name is the identifying name that shows up when you look for wireless connections on your pc. It identifies you. If you don’t have it password protected, it will show up as unlocked. This allows any of your neighbors to use your internet connection, or anyone driving down the street to stop and use your connection on their laptops. By setting up with a password, you will prevent that from happening, and prevent your home network as well. There are WEP passwords and WPA passwords. If you have the option, choose the WPA as it’s much stronger but if you have older equipment then you may only have the WEP option. Either way, use one. With WEP, you also can choose between 64 bit and 128 bit security. 128 bit is much stronger than 64. Keep in mind that you’ll need to enter that password on any computer connecting to the network, but you only have to do so once.
Protect your network. It’s an easy thing to do.