Wireless Security Quickstart

Creative Commons License The text below is intended for use as a splash-page or handout for new users on open networks and is licensed under a Creative Commons ShareAlike License. Please feel free to reuse it anywhere you see fit, even for commercial use - I ask only that you release any derived works on the same license.

Wireless Security

The wireless network is a shared, public resource and as such should never be trusted. We provide only the network connection: protecting your system is your responsibility. Remember that even with a firewall protecting our network against direct attacks from the general Internet it's still quite common for worms to spread via email or from an infected laptop to other vulnerable systems on the same network.

Before using the conference network you should complete the following checklist to harden your system:

  1. Make sure every account on your system uses a strong password
  2. Apply any available security updates for your operating system:
    • Microsoft Windows
    • Apple Mac OS and OS X
    • Red Hat Linux
    • Debian Linux
    • Install apersonal firewall or activate the built-in firewall support included in modern operating systems:
    • Microsoft's guide to securing your PC
    • Mac OS X: Guide to enabling the Firewall
    • Install anti-virus software if you're using Windows

    It is strongly recommended that you use secure remote access protocols such as SSH or a VPN when accessing any service which requires you to login or enter sensitive information.

    The protocols listed below are insecure by design. Please ask your system administrator about secure alternatives for any services which you wish to use.

    • Telnet
    • FTP without SSL
    • POP3 without SSL or APOP
    • IMAP without SSL or CRAM-MD5
    • HTTP without SSL - check for a closed lock icon in your browser before entering passwords, credit card numbers, confidential information, etc.
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