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How can I be sure no one is hijacking or hacking my WAP?

Learn how to protect yourself from hackers and wireless access point (WAP) hijackers in this advice from our networking expert.

My wireless network card shows activity even when no one is using the computer. Does this mean someone or something is hijacking or hacking my unit?
It is possible that someone else is either attempting to contact/use your wireless access point ( WAP). It is also possible that while you may not be using your computer, the computer is still communicating with the WAP to ensure connectivity.

The easiest way to determine this is to ensure that your WAP is set up properly to not allow unauthorized use and not advertize to the common world.

Some common configuration options that you should employ to ensure proper access to your WAP are the following:

  • Change the default SSID.

  • Disable SSID broadcast.

Note that the steps to achieve these principles greatly depend on which WAP you have.

You can also view our wireless expert's response to this question: Why wireless network cards show activity when no one uses the computer

This was last published in October 2008

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