Wireless broadband is very much the ‘now’ technology, with virtually all new laptop computers coming with in-built wireless receivers. Wireless broadband allows the user to access the Internet remotely over a radio connection from a mobile location, without having to be physically stationery or actually hooked up to the network. What’s more, it’s also handy if you have multiple computers within your household looking to hook up to the Internet from a number of different rooms, in that they don’t all have to be connected to a central port which can save on cabling and is just altogether more convenient.
Even printers and scanners can be hooked up wirelessly, meaning you can print from anywhere in your home or office without being physically attached. Whilst there is a natural cost advantage in that you’ll require less hardware, there is also a tremendous and often underestimated risk to your private information when using wireless connections.
The Problem With Wireless
The problem with wireless connectivity is that it is extremely insecure. Compared to a standard wired internet connection, there is very little in the way of security to prevent hackers and malicious attacks on your information, which can produce alarming results. Consider your bog standard wired internet connection. Your computer is linked up to the modem, which is linked to the world wide web. There is a physical link which cannot as readily be intercepted by a foreign invader – without hooking his computer into the chain, a hacker would have a more difficult job trying to get at your files and the websites you are viewing.
However with a wireless connection the physical secure element is removed. All wireless devices are capable of tuning in to one another on the same channel like a radio is able to access an array of different stations – the only thing standing between is the password. Of course this is an oversimplification of the process, but it does help appreciate the problem with wireless connectivity.
Consider now the personal information you would tend to view over a wireless connection, or even store on your computer. Those with online banking services should be starting to wonder by now whether their service has been accessed by a would be hacker. In fact it’s quite common for criminals to access bank details, passwords and vital personal information, to the extent that it is possible for identity theft and fraud to take place on a massive scale.
Whilst there are massive efforts at banks and ISPs to improve the situation, it is up to the individual to ensure as far as possible that their connection is safe through encrypted passwords, firewalls and other security measures. Above all, if you’re not fully confident in your connection, it’s probably best to avoid accessing bank details especially until your in a more secure environment.