Useful computer networking tips and tricks

How to enhance your existing Wi-Fi Router

  • Change channel number-Wireless routers operate on a fixed channel. Since most routers ship with a pre-selected channel, the wireless signal may interfere with other routers in the vicinity that are operating on the same channel. Changing the wireless channel from the factory default is a good starting point if your wireless signal strength is poor.
  • Improve reception – check whether it’s possible to upgrade its antennas to something stronger. However, don’t get disheartened if your router doesn’t have any antennas. A wireless repeater compatible with your router is a perfect solution.
  • Restrict access to specific PCs – you can force your router to only connect to specific PCs. Your router identifies each computer by the unique MAC address of its network gear. Feed it a list of MAC addresses to connect to and you save yourself the trouble of entering a password each time you log in.
  • Disable SSID broadcast – You should first change the SSID to something unique to set your router apart from those of your neighbors. Then, once all your hardware has been set up, it’s better to turn off broadcasting the SSID altogether. This ensures your router isn’t displayed in the list of available networks, and won’t be a target for potential hackers.
  • Keep your router’s firmware updated – Router manufacturers keep working on firmware, even after hardware has been shipped. In addition to tweaks in the user interface, new versions might make better use of the various components in the router, or add extra features.

How to enhance your network computing security –

  • Use a complex login password -The weakest point in any security is usually the password. A password cracking program can attempt up to 350 billion guesses per second, and the number is increasing. Ideally, passwords should be at least 12 characters long, and include numbers and symbols. Another option is to use passphrases, or long sentences that are easier to remember than random characters. In addition, different passwords should be used for different purposes. For example, the password for a financial institution should be different from a password for email. An internet search for ‘password generator’ will lead to sites that assist with creating complex passwords. Consider combine a password that contains:Uppercase letters, Lowercaseletters, Numbers and SpecialCharacters
  • Keep all programs and operating system updated – Applying updates are essential because they patch security holes. When possible, software should be set to update automatically. Special attention must be paid to popular programs such as java and flash. Exploit writers focus on these in order to reach as many victims as possible.
  • Install/enable firewall – Hardware firewalls examine your computer’s network traffic to determine if it should be allowed. They can often detect malicious activity when other safeguards fail. These must be used in conjunction with antivirus, not as a replacement. Some operating systems come packaged with a firewall installed and enabled.
  • Install antivirus and Spyware removals tools – Antivirus software is designed to deal with modern malware including viruses, trojans, keyloggers, rootkits, and worms.Spyware is another class of malicious software that needs to be mitigated. These programs will gather personal information and send to a third pary without the person’s knowledge.
  • Apply dynamic network policies – In networked environments, where Microsoft Active Directory is installed, consider configuring a strong policies to enforce security and user based permissions.
  • Encrypt your data – It is crucial to encrypt your data , to guarantee its not compromised, you should consider e-mail and data encryption as well.
  • Never open attachments from unknown sources – For most types of malware to propogate, a user needs to perform some action. Attackers will compose convincing emails to try to get a user to download a file or click on a link. If the sender of an email is unknown, assume that it is dangerous.
  • Sleep/Shutdown computer when not in use – In the age of broadband, internet connections are always on, leaving connected machines vulnerable to attack. In addition, malware that is already installed needs the machine to be running in order to operate. Computers should be shut down when not in use, or set to sleep during periods of inactivity.
  • Keep sensitive data off your computer – ensitive data should never be stored on a computer without encryption. This includes SSNs, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, insurance information, and health information. This rule also applies to portable media.

Please contact us today if you need assistance with applying any of the above or other related IT tasks your business requires.
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