About 1 in 5 area wireless networks are not secure, putting families and businesses at risk.
It’s an issue they recently studied in the Business Information Systems Program at LDS Business College. Program Director, Dr. Kevin McReynolds, shares more.
About 1 in 5 wireless networks in this area are not secure, putting families and businesses at risk.
Curious about the security of local networks, LDS Business College technology student Steven Barker chose, as his class project, to drive around the Salt Lake area with his laptop, testing the security of wireless networks. He discovered that about 20 percent of those networks were not secure.
It takes only a few minutes to break into a wireless network that is not secure. Ironically, tools to do so can be downloaded from the internet.
Without security, wireless networks can be used by strangers who can browse the internet, open personal files on a PC, and find private or critical files such as credit card information. The cyber intruder can also send out thousands of emails from a private network, resulting in the victim being black listed by internet providers as a spammer according to Dr. Kevin McReynolds, LDS Business College Information Systems program director.
Any network, from household to business, may be at risk. Dr. McReynolds offers the following information and recommendations:
To determine if your network is secure, look for an icon that looks like a padlock on your network when you connect to it. If your network is labeled “WEP”, then you have the outdated security system and should consider changing it to WPA-2. To upgrade your network, or to maintain it, you should seek the help of someone trained to take care of it.
When you set up a new computer network, don’t make the mistake of just opening up the box, hooking everything together, and starting it up. This leaves everything open on the wireless network, including your user name and password. Don’t use the default passwords that come with the system. Create your own, and make them unique, but not traceable to you.
Network training is available at LDS Business College. The Business Information Systems program offers one-year certificates or a completed Applied Associates of Science degree. The certificate can be taken by itself, or with an Associates of Science Integrated Studies degree, which is transferable.
The Windows Administration certificate is designed around Microsoft certifications. These certificates are an industry standard and well received by the profession.
The program integrates the skills of business and systems operation management. Those who install, operate, and support small computer network systems, design software and systems, and know how to apply business principles are in demand in small businesses. System security is also a necessary skill in many offices. Skills acquired in this program include system design and analysis, LAN and WAN administration, client support, administration and security, troubleshooting, systems analysis and evaluation, and project management.