Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Securing Your Wireless Network

When you set up a wireless network in your house, the broadband signal is sent out from your router - it’s no longer necessary to physically connect your computer to your modem using an ethernet cable, and your network is no longer contained by the walls of your house. While this is great for you, it creates a whole new set of security challenges; protecting your wireless network is essential if you want to keep your connection private and hacker-free.

How do I check if my wireless network has security?
Go to My Network Places and scan for your wireless network. In the list that appears, there should be a picture of a padlock next to the name of your network. If there is no padlock, then your network is open and you need security.

An open network means that anyone within reach of the signal - which usually travels around 100 metres - can connect to the internet using your broadband connection. This could result in piggybacking users slowing your connection down and using up your download allowance. Or even worse, an open wireless network also leaves you open to hackers who can easily gain access to your files.

How do I secure my wireless network?
You need a wireless encryption key. This is a series of numbers and letters, working like a password to turn data into a code before it’s sent, making hacking more difficult. The most commonly used methods are:
  • WEP with 64bit or 128bit encryption strength - a simple encryption that offers limited security and is relatively easy to break
  • WPA-PSK (WPA-Personal) - in the forms of WPA-TKIP which offers better security and is backwards compatible with older routers and USB keys, and WPA2-AES which offers the best security and performance but less compatibility
Is there anything else I can do?
As well as having an encryption key, there are a few other steps you can take to protect your wireless network:
  • Firewall - either built into your router or as software on your PC, this will help to protect you from hackers
  • Anti-virus software - such as Norton or McAfee, to protect you from computer viruses
  • Anti-spyware software - to prevent spyware from collecting personal information about you
  • Anti-phishing - to alert you if you have visited a listed fraudulent website
You should also regularly run live updates on windows and your anti-virus to ensure that your security is always up-to-date.

            If you are serious about your home security you need to consider a many different factors such as an alarm system and a secure wireless network. Contact Free Alarms for a custom quote that will cover your home security needs.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Tips for Carrying Cash

Staff with responsibility for taking cash to the bank or transporting valuables will always be vulnerable to robbery.

But you can take a number of precautions to reduce the risks involved and make your cash less inviting to thieves.

Staff with responsibility for taking cash to the bank or transporting valuables will always be vulnerable to robbery.
But you can take a number of precautions to reduce the risks involved and make your cash less inviting to thieves.
One of the top rules for people who take cash to the bank is to have someone with you on every trip because robbers are much more likely to attack a single person. When there are two of you, it’s also more likely that one can get away to raise the alarm. 
Another very important routine is to have no routine! This means varying the time of day that you go to the bank and varying the route taken – whether you go on foot or by car.
Although you will always be at risk from opportunist criminals, most organised robbers watch their potential victim for at least a couple of days in advance.
If you use the same route every time, they can plan their attack much more effectively. They will look for points on the route where you are vulnerable – such as a quiet side street where you always park the car or the stairwell down from a multi-storey car park.
You will make things harder for them by using at least three different routes and alternating between them on different days so there is no pattern for robbers to follow.
  • Never advertise the fact that you are carrying cash. Instead of using a briefcase or bank cash bags, disguise the fact that you are transporting valuables by carrying it in an office box file, a strong shopping bag or even an inside coat pocket if there isn’t too much.
  • Make criminals aware that your cash is protected – for example, by dye which will be released when stolen. This makes the money unusable so they are likely to look for another target. Advertise your security precautions by putting up posters in the customer areas of your building.
  • Bank only during good daylight hours if possible.
  • If you think someone is following you, pull over to the side of the road to see if they drive on. When walking, watch in the windows of shops you pass to see if the same person is behind you for a long time
  • If you’re on foot and suspect you are being followed, walk into any open business premises to see if the person behind carries on walking and obviously, be on your guard if you see someone in a motorcycle helmet or wearing headgear which obscures their face
  • Remember that a robber might be very nervous, unpredictable or high on drink or drugs. Don’t do anything to anger or upset him. Hand over the cash calmly if he demands it. If a robber simply runs up and grabs the bag, don’t try to hang onto it. Let go immediately
Ensuring the safety of your money and staff when they are off your premises is not always in your control which makes it even more important to do all you can when it is in your control. Contact Free Alarms for a quote on an alarm system for your business.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A Culturally Appropriate Lifestyle

On joining the Peace Corps volunteers are expected to adopt a culturally appropriate lifestyle that will promote their safety and the people around them. This can include a broad spectrum of life choices such as clothing, living arrangements, entertainment and even the company you keep.

This sentiment is not just applicable to people living in foreign countries. When relocating to a new city, neighbourhood or even when shopping in a different area, you should take note of the local ways and adapt accordingly. 

Relocating from a rural to an urban area can be somewhat of a culture shock in regards to safety measures. Talking to the neighbours is a good way to get a sense of the safety but it is always advisable to consult an accredited security company.  

Source: www.peacecorps.gov