BBC1 ID Fraud

  orihuela 08:32 01 Feb 2007

Did anyone see the programme last night re. stealing identity? It has prompted me to make sure my wireless laptop is secure. The couple that were driving in the van that could hack into wireless laptops scared me to death. In very simple terms how do I know if mine would have been one of the laptops with a padlock against it, or am I open to hackers????

Is there a simple way to find out please.

  PaulB2005 09:30 01 Feb 2007

If you network is secured with a Network Key then it would have had a padlock. if you don't need a Network Key to connect to your network you are a risk.

Having said that the risk is probably minimal. You would be more at risk from your neighbours stealing your bandwidth and using your Internet connection for free than from data theft.

  orihuela 10:02 01 Feb 2007

When we got our new wireless router and started the process of changing to wireless connection we had problems and contacted the BT helpline who talked us through the process. They told us where to find our network key and then we manually typed this in. We did this initially and have never been asked for it since. Are we OK - sorry to be paranoid.

  terryf 11:48 01 Feb 2007

Suggest that you ask the FE to transfer this thread to Networking, you may get more replies and answers

  Aargh 11:58 01 Feb 2007

Simple thing is you are not totally secure - even with things like wpa encryption & mac filtering.

Software is available to scan and crack most forms of encryption used in common wifi setups, however, considerable time may be needed for a hacker to read your traffic and filter out the packets that hold your identifiable security, then use them.

If you use the encryption available on your system, and regularly change the secure network key, you will be safe against all but the most determined hackers. Install a good firewall and use all the anti intrusion features available.

The rest is down to commonsense about what you do on the internet and keep on your computer.

You have to weigh up the likelihood of you being a target (most hackers or war-drivers are just snoopers or looking for free internet access), because you aren't, unless you are a bank or the pentagon etc.

Its simple to reduce the need for paranoia.

  irishrapter 16:13 01 Feb 2007

If you use WPA or WPA2 and not WEP you should be okay.
Use a good password from click here not something that is in a dictionary!

  rodriguez 16:35 01 Feb 2007

You're encryption is on which means you're pretty safe. The fact that you typed in the network key once and then not again is just because your computer remembers the key and connects automatically to save you typing it in everytime. A new computer that tries to connect will be asked for this key, which other users won't have. To double check, double click the wireless icon in the taskbar near the clock (the one with the screen and radio waves coming from it) and when the box comes up, press View Wireless Networks and you'll see a list of connections. Find yours (if your neighbours have wireless networks, theirs will show up as well) and make sure there's a padlock there with "Security enabled wireless network" written next to it. The networks that the BBC "hacked" into would have just been unencrypted networks and anyone can do that.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 16:43 01 Feb 2007

'The couple that were driving in the van that could hack into wireless laptops scared me to death.'...they were not able to hack into the computers, merely use their connections; there is a huge difference and the programme left put a few important points. As I keep sying, ther eis nothing on home computers that would be of interest and your rubbish bin is what I would be targetting It would appear a shredder is of much more use than going OTT on computer security.


  GANDALF <|:-)> 16:59 01 Feb 2007

'the programme left put a few important points.' should be 'the programme left OUT a few important points.'


  orihuela 08:24 02 Feb 2007

If you see this message thanks for the simple instructions you posted to my question. I did what you advised but when I clicked "choose a wireless network" a message popped up saying "wireless cannot configure this wireless connection" why is that do you think?

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