Norton Protection Center: Secure Your Network

Norton Protection Center

If your protection has expired or you would like to upgrade your security to include comprehensive protection for all the categories below, check out Norton Internet Security. A wireless home network lets you connect your PCs and their peripherals (such as printers, extra storage, or, even your Digital Video Recorders) without the use of wires. Without adequate precautions, wireless networks become another access target for hackers or curious neighbors. The following features can help secure your wireless network:

Wireless Security Monitoring

Wireless Security Monitoring checks wireless networks for security, including encryption and a non-default administrator login. When you connect to a wireless network, this feature indicates whether the connection is secure and will warn you if the connection is unsecured. When the connection is unsecured, you can click the wireless status for information on remedying the situation. We recommend that you enable the encryption feature on your wireless device to make your home network more secure. This will mean that you will create and enter a "key" on the device you want to access. Your wireless software will save this key so you will only need to enter once.

Remote Security Status Monitoring

A wireless network is only as secure as the protection for each computer on that network. Remote monitoring allows you to check the security status of other computers on the network that are running Norton 2008 or later products. It is essential that every computer on the network is running computer security software and receiving regular protection updates to help ensure that the network is protected.

Network Map

Network Map provides a graphical view of your network and all of the devices connected to the network. The Network Map is a great way to see all of the devices connected to your wireless network. Connected printers, network storage, game consoles, and other computers are all visible within the map along with the Trust Control level. Additionally, any unauthorized computers that are connected to your network are also visible, allowing you to adjust your security appropriately.

Trust Control

Trust Control allows you to configure your firewall security based on your network connection. There are several different types of networks you may connect to. For example, you may connect to public wireless at a coffee shop or you may connect to your home’s wireless network. Each one of these should have different security settings. At the coffee shop, you’ll want to hide your connection from others computers on the network so that less scrupulous users on that network can’t access your PC. But at home, you’ll want to take advantage of shared resources such as printers, so your computer will need to communicate across the network. Trust Control automatically recommends firewall settings that control this type of communication based on the type of network to which you connect and allows you to easily adjust settings to meet your needs.

Wireless Network Security

Why is it important to secure your wireless access point?

A first glance, having a neighbor use your wireless access doesn’t seem very harmful, other than using your bandwidth which can slow down your overall access speed. But, the person connecting to your network might not be your friendly neighbor, rather someone that is much more sinister. Criminal activity by unauthorized users can include:

  • Accessing valuable data, like music and movie files, or unprotected private data on shared files/folders
  • Use of your IP address and computers to distribute illegal pornography or spam.
  • Capturing your personal data as it is transmitted from your computer to the wireless router.

Why should I change the password on my wireless router?

Wireless routers, as delivered from the manufacturer, generally all have the same login name and password. For example, one of the most popular wireless routers uses "Admin" as the login name and no password. Unless that default password, a hacker can easily access that router and redirect network traffic. Additionally, new methods of attacking wireless networks that don’t even require physical proximity to connect to the network have been outlined by Symantec Research Labs.

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What are the steps required to secure my wireless network?

  1. Change the default password to your router. This will prevent users from accessing your network and changing settings that could impact the security of your network.
  2. Enable encryption on your network to secure the traffic flowing over the wireless access point. To do this, you need to do the following:
    • Perform an inventory of all the devices on your network. To select the level of encryption appropriate for your network, it's essential to first make sure that all devices on your network support encryption, and if so, what level of encryption the devices support.
    • Log into your wireless router and enable the appropriate level of encryption. Symantec recommends enabling the highest level, WPA-2, if all the devices on your network support this level of encryption. If not, then select a lower level of encryption, such as WEP, that is supported by all the devices on your network. If some devices do not support encryption and these are devices that you need to be connected to your wireless network, then you should not enable encryption, because those devices will not be able to connect.
  3. Enable MAC Filtering: MAC addresses are unique identifiers assigned to a device's network connection hardware. Restricting access to your wireless network based on a list of approved MAC addresses is recommended as an additional layer of security for your wireless network.
  4. NOTE: If any of the above steps prevent connection to your wireless network, then please reset your wireless router. This is usually done by pressing the RESET button on the router.

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