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Making sure your wireless signal is secure

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If you’re wireless at home or at work, and don’t have a lock on your wireless network, hackers and piggy backers can use your internet portal, which slows down your connection speed and opens the door to potential malicious attacks.

“Wardriving” is the act of driving around town with a wireless computer to find open connections to people’s unsecured wireless networks.

We drove around a Wilmington apartment complex with Gregory Oldham, a network security consultant, to demonstrate just how easy it is to tap into private systems.

He used a system called net stumbler. Here’s the alarming statistic, we found that at least one third of homes in just this one area were unsecured.

Oldham says a wardriver, or internet thief, who accesses your network could not only use your internet, but could steal personal information stored on your computer. They could also use your computer as a “zombie” to send out spam or malicious software, making you look like the culprit.

“Potentially, if they get infected on their computer, it could spread to your computer, because most network worms are aware that there’s a network connection,” Oldham said.

The instructions as to how to secure your wireless network differ, depending on the brand of your router.

The best way to do so is by referring to the router’s instructions manual or calling the ‘800’-number generally listed on the instructions.

With Netgear, for example, you’ll choose a security option.

“Just put a password, encrypt it, use wireless protection protocol, or the WEP or WPA, or just put something out there that shows that it’s security-enabled, so that people can’t just connect to it, for free.”

You can tell if someone is using your internet connection by doing a little detective work or you can contact Greg Oldham at capefeartech.com.

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videoIf you’re wireless at home or at work, and don’t have a lock on your wireless network, hackers and piggy backers can use your internet portal, which slows down your connection speed and opens the door to potential malicious attacks.

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