Just when you thought it was safe

I consider myself to be a pretty savvy computer user. I do a lot to administer a number of computers around the home. Friends and colleagues often see me for advice.

But WiFi security is a mess. I took great care to turn on the security features for our home wireless network. Turns out that I did it incorrectly. Of course you want to use WEP to get some basic encryption of your data. And clearly you want to restrict access by the hardware MAC address of the Ethernet adaptors. It also appears that authentication would help. Wrong answer! If you use authentication, then the WEP key is communicated in plain text! So anytime you login to your network, your WEP key is broadcast to anyone listening in. You really want to configure for an open network. Let the WEP key and the MAC filtering protect the network.

Bottom line: be extremely careful with a wireless network.

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