Is My WiFi Vulnerable?

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Steve CDN

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Jan 31, 2005
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Canada/U.S.A
Being a late adopter to WiFi technology, there is an aspect of this I am not clear on.

My recent acquisition of a new laptop includes a built in WiFi card.  When I boot up, Windows alerts me in Systray of local WiFi networks.  It happens there is one in my area which is password protected, but I have not changed any configurations in my own new system.  Is my laptop transmitting to others in the area, and can someone else access my system?  If I need to make changes in settings, would you point me to where I access these settings?

Thanks!
 

Ned

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You will only be visible if you connect to one of those access points, and then only to that AP.? Just ignore the messages or shut off the wireless adapter if they bother you.

Also go to the wireless connection properties, Wireless Network tab, Advanced, and uncheck the "Automatically connect to non-preferred networks" check box.
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Location
Davison Michigan
Steve said:
Being a late adopter to WiFi technology, there is an aspect of this I am not clear on.

My recent acquisition of a new laptop includes a built in WiFi card.  When I boot up, Windows alerts me in Systray of local WiFi networks.  It happens there is one in my area which is password protected, but I have not changed any configurations in my own new system.  Is my laptop transmitting to others in the area, and can someone else access my system?  If I need to make changes in settings, would you point me to where I access these settings?

Thanks!

If you are not using wi-fi yourself, simply disable the adapter (right click on the icon, choose disable) this will turn it off making your system 100% secure against wi-fi intrusion

If you are using it then yes, it is vunerable... Just how vunerable depends on way more than I know or care to post about.  But there is no way to make wi-fi 100% secure.  Using of encryption (WPA is the current best) makes it easier for the hacker to ferret out a connection elsewhere.  but still possible.

At this time though most criminals are going after wi-fi routers, not the client computers (Which is what your computer is)

I usually turn mine off when I don't want the thing to bother me (That is disable the wi-fi adapter)
 

Bob Zambenini

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Mar 4, 2005
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270
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Orange County California
John In Detroit said:
Just how vunerable depends on way more than I know or care to post about.  But there is no way to make wi-fi 100% secure.  Using of encryption (WPA is the current best) makes it easier for the hacker to ferret out a connection elsewhere.  but still possible.

Guess it depends on your operating system, but for most of us with XP type systems, I have always assumed that turning off file sharing and having  login password set would keep the average hacker from getting to my file system and causing havoc. 

At home here I am behind router security but on road I keep file sharing off. Isn't this advisable?

Bob


 

Ned

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Bob, you are correct in that you should never enable file sharing on your internet connection.  The only protocol that is needed for that one is TCP/IP.  This won't eliminate all threats, but it keeps out the the more obvious attacks.
 

Treeman

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Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Posts
28
Location
Tacoma, WA
Here is one in a batch of similar products; Wireless Intrusion Detection Toolbox
Air Snare: http://home.comcast.net/~jay.deboer/airsnare/index.html
AirSnare monitors network traffic for unfriendly MAC addresses and alerts you when a MAC address is found that isn't on the friendly list.? AirSnare also monitor DHCP requests from clients.
You can even email someone attempting to "hook," onto your network.
Have fun,
Treeman
 
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