For information regarding our campus-wide wireless network, please visit our ITS Wireless page.
Wireless technology allows individuals to connect to a network without the burden of a physical connection between the network hub and the individual's digital device. Wireless technology is widespread, from large corporations to small businesses, to city-wide metropolitan networks to household wireless routers, and innumerable coffee shops and gathering spots in between. With this convenience comes a number of serious security risks.
Public Wireless "Hot Spots"
Public wireless connections can be very convenient for casual Internet use, but anything more introduces several dangers. Here are some rules of thumb when using WiFi hot spots:
- Be aware of what anyone can see - Over open, unencrypted channels, like most public wireless connections, whatever you send or receive can be picked up (or "sniffed") by anyone within range. Modern sniffing equipment can pick up wireless communication over great distances. Sniffers can easily log addresses of websites you access, searches you run, conversations you have over instant messenger programs, emails you send and receive, and much more.
- Avoid entering personally identifiable or confidential information - Always assume your wireless activity is being viewed! Over open channels, only communicate information that you would feel comfortable giving to a stranger on the street.
- If you must send information, make sure your connection is encrypted - Never send login information over open channels. If you must log into a website or enter confidential information online, make sure your are doing so over encryption.