Internet connection security problem

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Joe, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. Joe

    Joe Guest

    I have a hard-wired internet connection with virgin media, but recently
    bought a laptop and find the wires a nuisance, so am now considering going
    wireless just for the sake of more 'freedom' around the house.
    The thing is, I am not tech-minded and know nowt about internet security,
    but some friends have said that a wireless connection could be easily hacked
    by my neighbours and they'd be able to see my personal data. Is this true?

    I have 2 PCs hardwired to the broadband modem, but use only one machine at a
    time, hence no router in use.
    I will have to buy a router as the laptop (and 2 PCs) will need this. If I
    buy a router which has wireless capability for the laptop and hard-wired for
    the PCs, will this mean that a hacker-neighbour still be able to access my
    PCs via the laptop's wireless connection...'even though the PCs are
    hard-wired?

    Is there another way for me to have a wireless connection for the laptop and
    also have my PCs hard wired but seperate from the laptop? i.e. Laptop not
    part of the 'network'?

    I am at a loss as to what to do here, so any advice appreciated.

    Cheers.
    Joe.
     
    Joe, Dec 1, 2007
    #1
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  2. Joe

    Bert Hyman Guest

    In news:kUh4j.18296$ "Joe"
    <> wrote:

    > The thing is, I am not tech-minded and know nowt about internet
    > security, but some friends have said that a wireless connection could
    > be easily hacked by my neighbours and they'd be able to see my
    > personal data. Is this true?
    >


    If you enable the security features built in to your wireless router and
    wirless interfaces in your PCs, then no.

    --
    Bert Hyman St. Paul, MN
     
    Bert Hyman, Dec 1, 2007
    #2
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  3. Joe

    ded Guest

    "Joe" <> wrote in message
    news:kUh4j.18296$...
    >
    > I have a hard-wired internet connection with virgin media, but recently
    > bought a laptop and find the wires a nuisance, so am now considering going
    > wireless just for the sake of more 'freedom' around the house.
    > The thing is, I am not tech-minded and know nowt about internet security,
    > but some friends have said that a wireless connection could be easily
    > hacked by my neighbours and they'd be able to see my personal data. Is
    > this true?
    >


    Yes, alas it basically is true, the biggest problem is bandwidth
    theft/hogging,
    where someone else uses your WiFi connection, but security is also
    lacklustre.
    This is a BBC article on the subject:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7052223.stm
    Also google "Wi-Fi security" to get plenty of articles on the problem.
    My advice - don't risk Wi-Fi.
     
    ded, Dec 1, 2007
    #3
  4. Joe

    Whiskers Guest

    On 2007-12-01, Joe <> wrote:

    [...]

    > I am at a loss as to what to do here, so any advice appreciated.


    Make sure you get a wireless router that can handle WPA encryption and
    includes its own 'firewall'; read the istructions carefully. There
    should be a setting to prevent any computer connecting wirelessly unless
    its MAC number is already on a list held by the router (MAC filter or
    some such name).

    --
    -- ^^^^^^^^^^
    -- Whiskers
    -- ~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Whiskers, Dec 1, 2007
    #4
  5. Joe wrote:

    >
    > I have a hard-wired internet connection with virgin media, but recently
    > bought a laptop and find the wires a nuisance, so am now considering going
    > wireless just for the sake of more 'freedom' around the house.
    > The thing is, I am not tech-minded and know nowt about internet security,
    > but some friends have said that a wireless connection could be easily
    > hacked by my neighbours and they'd be able to see my personal data. Is
    > this true?
    >

    WEP can be hacked in less than a minute, so WPA is your only option here,
    for securing your wireless.

    > I have 2 PCs hardwired to the broadband modem, but use only one machine at
    > a time, hence no router in use.
    > I will have to buy a router as the laptop (and 2 PCs) will need this. If I
    > buy a router which has wireless capability for the laptop and hard-wired
    > for the PCs, will this mean that a hacker-neighbour still be able to
    > access my PCs via the laptop's wireless connection...'even though the PCs
    > are hard-wired?
    >

    Once the access to the router via wireless is hacked, the cracker can see
    all devices on your net, no matter if wired or wireless. Unless the router
    allows separation of networks, which a standard homerouter won't do.

    > Is there another way for me to have a wireless connection for the laptop
    > and also have my PCs hard wired but seperate from the laptop? i.e. Laptop
    > not part of the 'network'?
    >

    Not with standard soho routers.

    > I am at a loss as to what to do here, so any advice appreciated.
    >

    Get one with WPA, and your laptop network driver must supply wpa as well.
    MAC address filtering is no real security, since MAC addresses can be
    sniffed and then spoofed in no time.
     
    wisdomkiller & pain, Dec 1, 2007
    #5
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