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Network security is a specialized field in computer networking that involves securing a computer network infrastructure. more »
Note: This is an historic document. We are no longer maintaining the content, but it may have value for research purposes. Pages linked to from the document ... more »
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Network security comprises of the policies and the precautions taken by the network administrator to prevent against unauthorized access and use. A number of different parties rely on network security, including businesses, schools, and governments. By maintaining effective network security, individuals can protect against the threats that arise through the Internet.
Components to Network Security:
There are a number of components that comprise an effective network security system. The following are some essential tools that should be included in any network security solution:
1. Anti-Virus Software:
Anti-virus software is designed to help users detect and remove harmful threats, such as viruses, worms, Trojans, and malware. This software is important because it serves as a primary means for many users in protecting their computers against threats. There are many types of anti-virus software available, some more comprehensive than others. Customers should research to see which software is best suited for their computer and Internet usage.
2. Firewall or Proxy:
A firewall is a device that is designed to protect networks against unauthorized access. A proxy is an intermediary server that handles requests between two clients. Firewalls and proxies are essential because they act as a means of protection against users who are seeking to enter a network without authorization.
3. Secure Passwords:
When creating a password, individuals should make sure that they are difficult to decrypt. Avoid using generic words or combinations of numbers that can be easily guessed. Passwords should be as random as possible, so that hackers will be presented with a challenge.
4. Secure Wi-Fi Connection:
There are a number of steps that users can take to set up a secure, wireless connection to your network. Make sure that your wireless connection is encrypted, and can only be accessed with a password. In addition, users should disable their Wi-Fi when not in use, and avoid broadcasting their SSID.
5. Backup Systems:
As a final precaution, users should back up their important information and data into an external source. In the case that hackers have accessed your data or your computer has been compromised by viruses, users can rest easier knowing that they have created a safety net through wireless network security.
How to Be Safe and Secure:
When accessing a network, users without network security can become threatened by a number of issues. The following are some tips that can help users maintain internet security:
1. Avoid Suspicious Wi-Fi Connections:
Hackers and identity thieves can set up fake WAPs, or wireless networks, as a trap for unsuspecting users. Internet users should protect against this threat by only logging on through reputable networks and avoiding offers of “free” Wi-Fi.
2. Avoid File-Sharing:
When users enable file-sharing on their computers, they allow nearly any anonymous user to access to data. Avoid malicious users by disabling this option on your laptop.
3. Avoid Online Shopping or Banking:
While accessed to a public network, computer users should avoid broadcasting important, personal information. When you engage in online shopping, banking, or other such activities publically, the chances of hackers accessing your private data increase. Instead, wait until you are on a private, secure network before making a transaction or transfer.
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