[HOW TO] Secure Your Wireless Network

Let’s face it, we have all (or at least I have) jumped onto an unprotected WI-Fi network. When I was in college, I even considered knocking on my neighbors door (whose network was secure) to ask if they wanted to share a network and split the cost, but what would the dangers of that had been? And what are the dangers of not having your own network secure? Well, for starters, my neighbors could have been wrongfully accused of things if I were looking at or doing illegal things online, (I wasn’t and don’t), but if I had, the feds could have knocked on their door one day, like when this guy got busted for downloading images he hadn’t downloaded.

Also, unprotected wireless networks, also set you up for vulnerabilities on your computers.  Your files could be stolen, or your private info (such as bank information, passwords, etc.) could be stolen as well.

The only way to protect yourself from this happening, is to secure your wireless network. Follow these steps and you should be all set.

1. Open your router settings. This is typically done by typing “192.168.1.1” into your browser.
Once the page loads, you will need to login to the admin settings, the generic login/password is different depending on the router brand that you are using, so check out the directions manual that came with the router to determine yours. The most common defaults are admin / password.

2. Change your router password. This is the password that we just talked about. (10 Tips for Choosing a Safe Password) If you forget to change this, your network is still accessible.  Anyone can login to your router and change your settings. This is a step that many forget to do, but it is definitely one of the most important.

3. Next, change the name of your wireless network. Do not name the network after the router aka Belkin. Also, do not use your own name, home address or other personal information when naming your network. You can name your network something funny or just something easy to remember, either way, it’s not that important, but it just let’s you and others know what network they are connecting to.

4. Encrypt Your Wireless Signal: Network encryption is important. It prevents other computers in your area from using your wireless signal. The newest form of encryption is called WPA2, use this if you have the option, otherwise WPA will suffice.  (WEP is the older, less secure version: i.e very easy to hack, stay away from WEP if at all possible) Choose a password that is up to 14 characters long, a combination of letters and numbers.

5. Make sure your router’s firmware is up-to-date. Possible security flaws will be easily avoided if your routers firmware is current.

Any other recommendations for securing a wireless network? Leave them below in the comments! And as always, be sure to share this article with all of your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

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Just Suffered an Earthquake? Make Sure Your DNS is Diversified.

As “earthquake on East Coast” and “earthquake” searches soar on Google, now is a great time to focus on the importance of having your DNS hosted in many geographically diverse locations. Companies should now be thinking about the “What-If?” scenarios.

What If:
Your DNS is only hosted in one location and mother nature decides to wake up on the wrong side of the bed?
Your website was down for an hour, a day, a week? What would this mean to your business?
Your companies email system just stopped working?

DNS is an essential part of the Internet.  If your web servers are only hosted in one location, and something happens, your entire website can be wiped out. Having DNS that is hosted in many geographically diverse locations means that even if the unthinkable happens, your customers will still be able to reach your site.

The location of DNS servers is important in ensuring 100% uptime. We deploy name servers across the globe at geographically unique datacenters using different tier 1 bandwidth providers to ensure a natural disaster or connectivity outage does not disrupt our robust DNS network. Check out No-IP Plus DNS for more information.

Have you or your business ever been affected by a DNS outage? Share your thoughts below!

[TIP] 6 Cool Ways College Students Can Use DNS

1. Research Faster and More Efficiently: Faster internet browsing for all of those last minute term papers. Sites hosted with reliable DNS will always be available when you need them most.

2. Get Better Grades: Forgot your term paper at home that’s due in 15 minutes? Don’t use the “dog ate my homework” excuse, log in to your computer from school, access your files and viola! Crisis averted.

3. Play Video Games With Your Friends From Home: Far away from all of your video game buddies from home? Wipe those tears away, because with DDNS you can run your own game server on your dynamic IP from your dorm room!

4. Be the Life of the Party: At a party with really lame music, but forgot your IPod? Be the hit of the party by accessing your entire music library on the go! (Just make sure you don’t play the YMCA.)

5. Sharing is Caring: Live in an apartment with multiple computers? Want to easily share files, music and movies? Create your own VPN server in your apartment or dorm.

6. Save Money: Food disappearing quicker than usual? Do you suspect that your roommate is secretly munching all of your Cheetos at 2am? Set up a security camera and catch the culprit red (er orange?) handed! Just make sure you keep the camera rated G by not installing them in a bathroom, bedroom, or other places where people expect privacy.

Other tips and ideas on ways college students can use DNS ? Add them below! And check out our website to learn about our awesome DNS products.

Internet Privacy May Soon be a Thing of the Past

Have you heard about H.R. 1981: The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011? If not, listen up, because this is a very important bill that is quietly making it’s way through approval as I type. With a name like that, who would possibly oppose, everyone wants to keep children safe. The only problem is that this act encompasses much more than child pornography, it encompasses everyone’s ENTIRE internet privacy.

Under this act, every ISP would be required to track everyone’s online activity including your name, address, phone number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and  temporarily-assigned IP addresses, and save it for a minimum of 18 months. So basically, the government would be assuming that everyone is a criminal and they are just waiting for you to break the law. The equivalent of this bill is the government having someone follow you everywhere, everyday of you life and record it just in case one day you decide to rob a bank, or kill someone.  Could you imagine???

California Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s recently proposed to rename the act “Keep Every American’s Digital Data for Submission to the Federal Government Without a Warrant Act of 2011.”

Why rename it that? Well Rep. Lofgren’s new title explains it all, once the ISP has your entire online footprint saved, all it takes for that information to be subpoenaed is an inkling that you have done something wrong.  You don’t have to be under investigation for child pornography charges, simply being suspected is enough.

Which brings up another skeptical situation, what if you are undergoing a child custody battle, or a divorce, or anything?! Yup, your history can be subpenaed and you know how? No warrant is necessary, all they have to do is ASK.  No probable cause is necessary, nice.

This act has successfully made its way through the House Judiciary Committee and it’s next stop is a vote by the House. You can track the status of the act here.

What can you do? If you oppose this legislation, you can go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and fill out an easy form to contact your state representative.

So, do you agree or disagree with the legislation? Leave your comments below!