How To: Secure Your Office Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi routers, while convenient, are hardly secure. You need to enable encryption to ensure that others don’t mooch off your connection. Best case scenario, they may be harmless freeloaders who just browse, email and then log off. Worst case scenario, you may be opening yourself up to hackers and spammers.

So how do you protect yourself? Here’s how:

  • Choose the correct Wi-Fi security: Different protocols like WEP, WPA and WPA2 offer different levels of security. Of these WEP is the weakest, and may only thwart the freeloaders. WPA (Wi-Fi protected access) is stronger and WPA2 offers the best protection. To make your Wi-Fi security iron clad, you can enable both WPA and WPA2 in either Personal or Enterprise modes. You can use the latter if your organization has more users. Though more complicated to set up, it’s easier to maintain and more secure. Users on your network cannot spy on one another as the encryption keys are unique to every user’s session. Also, if employees leave, you can easily change the passphrase for that specific device and user. Otherwise, they would be able to gain access to your network later.
  • Use a strong passphrase: I cannot stress on the importance of this enough. Use words not found in the dictionary, and use a combo of uppercase and lowercase letters, and numbers, and make the passphrase a little long.
  • Change your network name: Using default names, makes it easier for hackers to enter your network and access your info. Use a unique name without revealing much info.
  • Hide SSID:  This will make it possible for you to hide your network name from the list of available networks. So when someone searches for networks, if yours is not displayed at all, it reduces unauthorized access considerably.
  • Careful with Device Authorization Lists: MAC address filtering makes sure that devices that are not listed as authorized to use your network, cannot gain admission into your network.  Problem is, these ‘authorized’ addresses can be easily forged by hackers. Therefore, don’t rely on this method of protection.
  •  Out of the office: when on public hot spots and other un-trusted networks, employ a VPN (virtual private network) connection. This secures your net traffic by transmitting it to your VPN server through an encrypted channel. This will prevent local snoopers from hijacking accounts or cracking your passwords. You could consider hosted services if your organization doesn’t offer VPN access. While there are several free ones available, paid services like Comodo TrustConnect are more reliable. In case you do not use VPN access, you need to ensure that websites you visit are encrypted. Access sites only thru browsers and try using SSL/ HTTPS encoding. You will see a padlock icon on secure sites, like banks for example.
  • Never proffer your business Wi-Fi connection to guests: Offer a different Wi-Fi connection to unfamiliar persons, in the event you HAVE to offer them some connectivity. Ensure you have a separate network and the access is separated from your main network so that they will not be able access your devices, files or even eavesdrop on your traffic.
  • Physical Security: Ensure that the wireless router and the access points are protected from visitors. Any person could easily connect to your network if it’s accessible and do whatever they want. For example you could place your equipment high on the wall or in spaces where outsiders are not permitted.

This is a guest post by Eve Zaremba of xfinityonline, a site that offers savings and current information on xfinity internet. for more info.

Facebook, Google asked to remove "unacceptable" content by Indian court

Social media giants Facebook, Google and up to twenty other internet firms have been ordered by a local Indian court to completely remove content “unacceptable to national standards”, according to a report released today. The “unacceptable” content in questions is mainly images which are “inflammatory and derogatory” and “cannot be accepted by any religion.”

Civil judge Mukesh Kumar explains in a statement:

Contents which are uploaded by some miscreants through these social media sites are highly unacceptable and are inflammatory and derogatory which cannot be accepted by any religion.

The move comes after India”s acting telecom minister Kapil Sibal created quite an uproar in the country over his alleged request for web censorship in the nation. A report from the New York Times suggested that Sibal was looking to introduce measures that would pre-screen all internet content before it is published. The move was in response to images that Sibal claims depicted religious figures in pornographic and unsavoury ways, but many Indians mocked and criticised Sibal and his plan for being unfeasible and foolish.

While Sibal himself admitted in a recent interview that pre-screening the entire web content is next to impossible, he did clarify that he was misquoted on the issue.

Via

BlackBerry Services Live Again

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has said that all the services pertaining to BlackBerry, which were down since yesterday in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) owing to a technical glitch, are back again and running as usual. The widespread service outages were faced by BlackBerry users all over the world, including here in India, as people were unable to use BBM, internet, chatting, receive or send email, use instant messaging, etc., though the problems did not appear to be the same for each user, or affect all users.

The Canadian company said in a statement that all services had been restored and apologized again for any inconvenience.

The company did not comment on what caused the problem.

The company’s share price fell 0.56 percent to $23.23 Monday after the outage news, and was down 60 per cent from the beginning of the year. Buck up, RIM!

Unlimited Bandwidth* (humor)

Hosting your own website seems to be on everyone’s “things to do before i die” list. Out of the several web hosts out there, HostGator and Go Daddy are easily the best and most recommended. But there are some others who, just to be competitive, make false promises. Promises such as giving unlimited bandwidth.

If only they kept those promises. Funny how an asterisk (*) can change the whole complexion of the contract.

Via Loading Artist

OFFICIAL: ‘The Daily’ iPad mag arriving Feb 2

It has been confirmed through many websites, on the merit of the invitation being doled out to them, that the news-making iPad magazine, The Daily, which has already been delayed by a few weeks, will finally arrive on the iPad on February 2nd (Groundhog Day). Owing to Steve Jobs’ medical leave, Apple will be represented on stage by their VP Internet Services, Eddy Cue. He will be joined, of course, by Rupert Murdoch.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch will be making the announcement at the event at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Apple vice president of Internet services Eddy Cue will join him. This is in contrast to News Corp.’s initial plans to hold the event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in late January.

Evolution Of Windows

It all began at the Plaza hotel,New York City 10th november 1983 when two microsoft founders Paul Allen and Bill gates announced the new graphical user interface operating system Microsoft windows.

Windows 1.01 (1985)

Officially released on November 20, 1985, this 16-bit OS that cost less than 1MB in overall is Microsoft’s very first operating system that allows multi tasking with graphical user interface on PC platform that runs on MS-DOS 5.0.

Windows 1.03 (1986)

Introduced in 1986, Windows 1.03 is an upgrade to its previous predecessor Windows 1.01. Entire operating system cost about 2.2Mb hard disk space.

Windows 2.03 (1987)

Taking advantage of the speed of Intel 286/386 processor at that time, Windows 2.03 is a replacement for Windows 1.x. It also starts the era where users are able to overlap windows, customize screens, etc. Still the entire operating system cost no more than 2.5Mb.

Windows 3.0 (1990)

This is the third major released of Microsoft Windows with a improved set of Windows icons and applications like File Manager, Program Manager that is still being used in today’s Windows. This 22 May 1990 released operating system is then replaced by Windows 3.1 two years later.

Windows 3.1 (1992)

Windows 3.1 is probably the earliest Windows most of us are familiar with. Windows 3.1 and later Windows 3.1x is an upgrade to Windows 3.0 with bug fixes and multimedia support.

Windows NT 3.1 (1993)

The first Windows New Technology (NT) introduced. It maintains consistency with the Windows 3.1, a well-established home and business operating system at the time, the new Windows NT operating system began with version 3.1. Unlike Windows 3.1, however, Windows NT 3.1 was a 32-bit operating system.

Windows 3.1(1993)

A superset of Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 added peer-to-peer workgroup and domain networking support. For the first time, Windows–based PCs were network-aware and became an integral part of the emerging client/server computing evolution – Microsoft

Windows NT 3.51 Workstation (1995)

The Windows NT Workstation 3.5 release provided the highest degree of protection yet for critical business applications and data. With support for the OpenGL graphics standard, this operating system helped power high-end applications for software development, engineering, financial analysis, scientific, and business-critical tasks – Microsoft

Windows 95 (1995)

Previously code-named ChicagoWindows 95 is a successor to all the existing Windows operating system so far. It gives full graphical user interface support, integrated a 32-bit TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) stack for built-in Internet support, dial-up networking, and new Plug and Play capabilities that made it easy for users to install hardware and software.

Windows NT 4.0 (1996)

Windows NT Workstation 4.0 included the popular Windows 95 user interface yet provided improved networking support for easier and more secure access to the Internet and corporate intranets – Microsoft.

Windows NT Server 4.0 (1996)

Windows 98 (1998)

Windows 98 was the upgrade from Windows 95. Described as an operating system that “Works Better, Plays Better,” Windows 98 was the first version of Windows designed specifically for consumers – Microsoft.

Windows 2000 (2000)

More than just the upgrade to Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Windows 2000 Professional was also designed to replace Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 on all business desktops and laptops. Built on top of the proven Windows NT Workstation 4.0 code base, Windows 2000 added major improvements in reliability, ease of use, Internet compatibility, and support for mobile computing – Microsoft.

Windows 2000 Server (2000)

Windows ME (2000)

Designed for home computer users, Windows Me offered consumers numerous music, video, and home networking enhancements and reliability improvements – Microsoft.

indows XP (2001)

Windows XP Professional brings the solid foundation of Windows 2000 to the PC desktop, enhancing reliability, security, and performance. With a fresh visual design, Windows XP Professional includes features for business and advanced home computing, including remote desktop support, an encrypting file system, and system restore and advanced networking features –Microsoft.

Windows Server 2003 (2003)

Released on April 2003, and also known as Win2k3, this operating system is a sucessor to it’s predecessor Windows Server 2000 (Win2k).

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003

Windows Vista (2006)

Came more than 5 years after it’s predecessor Windows XP, Vista is the longest timeline break for Microsoft between two operating system.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista

Windows Vista

Windows 7 (2009)

Codenamed Blackcomb, Windows 7 is one of the most anticipated operating system which should be available somewhere in Oct 2009.

Windows 7

Windows 7

Windows 7

INCREASE INTERNET SPEED BY 20%

Would you believe me if i said you can increase your internet speed by up to 20% without having to do much? Irrespective of how fast your speed already is, another 20% is just like an icing on the cake! Yum!

FYI, Microsoft reserves 20% of your available bandwidth for their own purposes like Windows Updates and interrogating your PC etc.

Now, you can get it back! In under a minute!

Click  Start then Run and type “gpedit.msc” without quotes.This opens the group policy editor. Then go to Local Computer Policy then Computer Configuration then Administrative Templates then Network then QOS Packet Scheduler and then lastly to Limit Reservable Bandwidth. Double click on Limit Reservable bandwidth. It will say it is not configured, but you can find the truth under the ‘Explain’ tab. It says: “By default, the Packet Scheduler limits the system to 20 percent of the bandwidth of a connection, but you can use this setting to override the default.” So the trick is to ENABLE reservable bandwidth, then set it to ZERO. This will allow the system to reserve nothing, rather than the default 20%. It works on Win 2000 as well.

Hope we saved your day 🙂

Like our posts? Follow Firstain on Twitter and/or join our Facebook Group to stay up-to-date with us.

Like our authors? Follow them: Aman Milwani on Twitter and/or Karan on Twitter.


Subscribe to Firstain by Email


Internet nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2010

It was the Italian edition of the Wired magazine which supported the idea of an inanimate object getting the prize. Wired reportedly nominated Internet for promoting “dialogue, debate and consensus through communication” as well as democracy.

In an article published on Nov 20, 2009, titled ‘Wired Backs Internet for Nobel Peace Prize‘, the magazine said, “The internet has clearly been a boon for news junkies, LOLcats and the makers of goofball videos. But it’s also proven to be a powerful international force for peace.”

“The internet can be considered the first weapon of mass construction, which we can deploy to destroy hate and conflict and to propagate peace and democracy,” Riccardo Luna, editor-in-chief of the Italian edition of Wired magazine opined.

Besides using the instance of Iraq elections to establish how Internet could be used as a ‘weapon of global hope’, the magazine went on to say how it can be used for terrorism and warfare to prove the power of the media.

So, now that it has been officially nominated, the world has to wait and see if a medium of communication trumps activists and fighters to win the Nobel Prize 2010.

The winner will be announced in Oct 2010.

MagicJack

MagicJack

MagicJack is a well-known computer peripheral which provides Internet-based telephone service (VoIP) and was marketed widely on TV last year.  Now, another MagicJack gadget has appeared: A new device that allows users to make free calls by using cell phones. Thus, potentially this device could be setting a new trend and affecting the mobile industry strongly.

Internet Explorer now in your own words

Now give Internet Explorer a name you like. And it is very easy too.
To see a new name for Internet Explorer in its title bar, follow this:
Go to: Start >> Run
Type in: REGEDIT
Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
Single click on “Main” to view its contents in the right pane. Scroll down and check to see if an entry “Window Title” exists. If it does not exist, then go up to Edit >> New>> String Value.
Right click on your new String Value entry and select “Modify” in the resulting menu.
In the “Value data” text box, type in whatever you would like the title bar to read and select OK when done. I have mine named “5 Star Support Explorer”.
If you have done this correctly, the next time you open up Internet Explorer, you should see your new name at the title bar.
Note: Be sure to back up your registry prior to making any changes.