Wireless connectivity is a wonderful invention, but it's not perfect. Not only are you still at risk from all the usual malware suspects when venturing online, your connection is also vulnerable to hackers. Here's how to secure access to your wireless network.
1. If you regularly use wireless broadband at home, you should check that the connection is secure. To check your settings, go to Control Panel and double-click the Network and Sharing Center icon. This will display a series of options to configure your connection.
2. By default, Vista switches off Network Discovery, which allows you to see other computers on the network — and them to see you. If Network Discovery is switched on, click the arrow beside it, select 'Turn off network discovery' and click Apply. This will prevent others from browsing your shared folders.
3. Other available options include the ability to manage your networks. Click Manage Wireless Connections and select your current connection from those listed. If more than one is specified, you can adjust the order in which Windows attempts to connect to the Web by dragging your preferred network to the top.
4. Networks in some organisations require you to enter security details. Click on the Profile Types then, in the dialogue box that appears, choose the Security tab. Select the type of encryption used from the Encryption type drop-down list, then enter your password to access the network.