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WIRELESS NETWORK PROTECTION TIPS
Keep your accounts and identity safe
Wireless networks are a target for identity theft.
- Use Encryption. Encryption scrambles the information you send over the Internet into a code so that it is not accessible to others. Encrypting the connection between your computer and your wireless router is the most effective way to secure your network from unwanted guests.
- Two main types of encryption are available: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). Your computer, your router and other equipment must use the same type of encryption. WPA2 is the strongest and we suggest you use it if you have a choice.
- Some older wireless routers only use WEP encryption, which is the weakest form and is easily hacked. Consider buying a new wireless router with WPA2 capability.
- Wireless routers often come with the encryption feature turned off. You MUST turn it on. The directions that came with your router should explain how. If they don't, check the company's website or contact your local computer expert.
- Secure Your Computer and Wireless Router.
- Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, on your computer and keep your software up-to-date.
- Change the name of your wireless router from the default. The name of your router, often called the “service set identifier” or SSID, is likely to be a standard, default ID assigned by the manufacturer. Change the name to something unique that only you know.
- Change your wireless router’s pre-set administrative password. This is a critical step. Hackers know the pre-set passwords, so change it to something only you know. Use passwords that are at least eight or more characters long and have a combination of upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Remember, the longer the password, the tougher it is to crack.
- Limit Access to Your Network.
- Allow only specific computers to access your wireless network. Every computer that is able to communicate with a network is assigned a unique Media Access Control (MAC) address. Wireless routers usually can be configured to allow only devices with a particular MAC address to access the network. The directions that came with your router should have instructions on how to configure this feature. If you have difficulty, consider contacting your local computer expert. Keep in mind though that some hackers have mimicked MAC addresses, so don't rely on this step alone.
- Turn off your wireless network when it's not in use. If you turn off your router when you are not using it, you limit the amount of time that it is susceptible to hackers.
Remember, NWSB Bank will never:
- Call, email or text you asking for your Online Banking password, Wire PIN, token codes, account numbers or debit card numbers. If you receive such a call, email or text message, do NOT give out any information.
- Direct you to a website that asks you to update your personal account information.
- Send an email to you containing computer software updates.
- Visit your place of business and request to perform maintenance on your computer.
Important: If you receive a phone call, email or text message that you question, please take the time to call and ask us to validate the communication before taking any other action. Do not use the contact information provided in the email or text message that you receive. Use the number advertised on our web site or on the back of your debit/credit card so you know you are speaking to us.