Lack of wireless security and junk mail

  TAJTAK 11:29 09 Aug 2006
Locked

Please help! I'm the beginner's absolute beginner when it comes to all things wireless. I've managed to set up a wireless connection between the main pc at home and my laptop using a Speedtouch 580 modem router. However, when I use the my laptop to access the internet I'm never asked for any passwords as I did not set up any security. I've also seen a significant increase in the amount of junk email, offering rolex watches to the unmentionable, my question is whether this is due to there being no security or passowrds when going wireless? And if so, how to I go about setting up security on my wireless connection? My one lame attempt resulted in me going around in circles and finally giving up. If you could help out a gal in distress, that would be super!
Merci buckets.

  ed-0 11:54 09 Aug 2006

re security.

have you followed pages 9 to 11 on click here

  FelixTCat 12:08 09 Aug 2006

TAJTAK,

You are receiving spam because your email address has somehow become known to them. This could be because you have registered with various web sites which may or may not have been very secure, or the spammers have penetrated the address book of somebody who has your address in it. The most important thing is never to reply to these in any way as that confirms yours is a live address.

You will also get random spam, e.g. if you have a hotmail address, a spammer will send email to every possible combination of names, letters and numbers @hotmail.com - a few are bound to be real.

The issue of passwords on the web is less clear. If you have set up a modem to connect to the internet, the modem issues your password to the ISP to make the connection, so you normally do not need to. After that, it is only secure sites such as banks or online shopping that require a password (or sites like this that require one for posting but not for reading).

Securing a wireless connection is less important than keeping your banking details and credit card details safe, since only people close to you can pick up your wireless signals. However, it is sensible to take some steps to prevent eavesdropping or your neighbours getting free broadband from you.

There are broadly 3 levels of security:

1. stop people finding your wireless network
2. stop people logging on to your wireless network
3. stop people listening in to the traffic over your wireless network

Wireless security is normally tackled in the reverse order.

The first thing to do is put some encryption on the wireless traffic. There are 2 types of encryption: WEP and WPA. If you can, use WPA. You have to set this up on all the pcs connected to your wireless network and USE THE SAME KEY. Always write it down and keep it somewhere safe.

The second stage is to prevent others logging in. All network devices have a unique MAC number and many routers allow you to restrict devices that can log on to those with certain MAC numbers that you input. Other devices cannot log on.

The third stage is to hide the wireless SSID. The SSID is the name of your wireless network. If you hide it, your devices can connect to the network (because they know the SSID) but outsiders have to first find or guess the SSID before they can try to log on.

As with all security devices in any walk of life, you cannot prevent a determined and skilled person breaking in; all you can do is make life much harder for them and deter them - they'll go after a softer target.

I hope that this has helped. Come back if you want to follow up each step in detail.

Regards,

Felix

  ed-0 13:07 09 Aug 2006

Type click here into the internet explorers address bar.

This should load the thompson speedstep page. Select > wireless > security > and click on security level 2.

Look under your router for your passphrase. Put this in the wPa passphrase box and apply.

The click on the link " save all " in the left menu.

You will now loose the internet connection on both machines.

Go to your speedtouch wireless adapter settings, open the configuration utility and select security. click here

Turn the security off button to "on".

From the drop down menu select WPA-PSK. Enter the passphrase key.

Go to apply changes and save.

Do this for both machines.

You are now secure from anyone stealing your internet connection.

from:- click here

  ed-0 13:09 09 Aug 2006

" Type "click here" into the internet explorers address bar. "

that is 10.0.0.138 after the http://

  TAJTAK 17:54 09 Aug 2006

Thanks for the advice all.

ed-0, I managed to get up to the point of disconnecting my laptop from the internet - had not tried anything on the desktop (just as well really, as I still have the internet now). However, everything came to a halt when I faced the next step. I don't actually have a Speedtouch 120g, so cannot open the wireless adapter settings (and there is nothing on my desktop's desktop indicating I have) let alone open the the configuration utility. I've managed to reconnect to the interent using the laptop however, by typing in the WPA key, which suggests some level of security). Will this suffice, or will I have to go through the other stages too to ensure complete (well, nothing's complete) security, or at least have 128 bit encryption? I also checked my list of wireless networks and mine it did have a padlock against it, suggesting that its not open to my neighbours and the rest of the street.

Re. Junk mail. I'm pretty sure that I tick all the opt out boxes when signing up to things on the net (I work in marketing and know how the marketeers work) but everyone in the house noticed a sharp incline in the amount of junk received. Maybe its just a coincedence that it occurred when going wireless, or the spammers have reached the letter 'T' maybe?

Any suggestions on the former point are more
than welcome.

Thanks
TT

  ed-0 19:03 09 Aug 2006

The speedtouch 580 is 120G. click here Is that your machine?

" I've managed to reconnect to the interent using the laptop however, by typing in the WPA key, which suggests some level of security)."

Yes it does.

Will this suffice, or will I have to go through the other stages too to ensure complete (well, nothing's complete) security, or at least have 128 bit encryption? I also checked my list of wireless networks and mine it did have a padlock against it, suggesting that its not open to my neighbours and the rest of the street."

If you right click your wireless connection in the system tray and view available networks. Is your similar to this click here. Is it padlocked, security enabled that requires a network key?

If it is, you should be fine.

  TAJTAK 19:49 09 Aug 2006

Hurrah!

Thank you ever so much for all your help. Just need to move on to my next prob of Dell's disappearing wireless adapters now... but that's another thread.

Bye for now!
:o)

TT

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