We like to share stuff online – pictures, music, musings – but, just because we like to share things doesn’t mean we don’t want our Internet connections to be shared too.
You’ve probably shared a Wi-Fi connection at some point – it could’ve been at the airport, at a coffee house or at your doctor’s office. Those kinds of places make their wireless networks open to sharing, which makes sense when you consider customer hospitality. Where you need private Internet access is at home.
Private Internet access at home
The easiest and fastest way to ensure Internet privacy is with a password-protected network.
Ever heard of a WEP key? You might’ve run across the term when you first set up your wireless network. If not, no worries. WEP stands for Wired Equivalent Privacy. It’s basically just a type of security code you chose to protect your wireless netowrk.
Once you create a WEP key, only those who know it can access your wireless Internet network. This kind of security encrypts the information that one computer sends to another on your Internet network.
WPA and WPA2
WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WPA2 , like a WEP key, both require security keys to connect to the Internet. The different between WPA/WPA2 and a WEP key is that WPA/WPA2 are newer and more secure. The good news there is that newer modems and routers have this type of capability built in, so you can set your own up no problem.
Tips for better Internet privacy
Even if you take the steps to create a private Internet connection at home, you should still be aware of viruses and malware that could expose personal information. To help with Internet privacy, never open emails (or click links in emails) if you aren’t sure where they are coming from. A lot of viruses are spread through email. You could even launch a virus on your computer and not even notice it until its infiltrated your network.
Be cautious, install a password on your Wi-Fi network, get basic anti-virus software and you’ll be doing a great job of ensuring private Internet access at home.