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Protect Your Wireless Network

Use passwords and encryption to keep your connection secure

If you set up a wireless router but didn't set up security passwords or activate encryption, chances are good that your network and your computer aren't protected. But you can correct that fairly easily by following the instructions provided by Microsoft or Apple. (Note: Doing this means that when you want someone to access your wireless network from another computer, he or she will have to get the password or key from you before she can go online.)

To protect an existing Windows Vista wireless network, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Start@@-->Control Panel.
  2. Click the Network and Internet link.
  3. In the resulting dialog box, click the Network and Sharing Center link.
  4. In the Network and Sharing Center window in the left pane, click the Set Up a Connection or Network link.
  5. In the next window, click Set Up a Wireless Router or Access Point.
  6. In the resulting Set Up a Wireless Router or Access Point window, click the Connect to a Network link.
  7. In the resulting Connect to a Network window, right-click your network and choose Properties.
  8. In the resulting Wireless Network Properties dialog box, choose an Encryption Type. This is typically WEP. When you select WEP, a security key appears.
  9. Click the OK button to save your settings, then click the Close button twice to close the open windows.

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