wireless network. It's definitely necessary to make sure your computers
are safe from intruders. Without having a secure wireless network, your
computers are wide open for others to gain access to and do whatever
they want with your data. I know all of that is a little scary, but
today, I have a completely new issue that will definitely convince you
to lock down your wireless router.
Think about this for a minute. How many times have you looked at the
list of available wireless networks in range of your computer? If I look
at the list here at WorldStart, I can see three of them right off the
bat. That means that right now, if I had the password, I could connect
to three different wireless connections.
Now, I'm sure some of you are thinking, "big deal!" Well, that's what I
thought until I read a report the other day about the possibility of a
worm that can spread through wireless routers. Researchers at Indiana
University did a study on the possibility of a wireless router worm.
This worm could spread by first infecting one wireless router and then
connecting to all other wireless routers in range and infecting them.
Those routers would then, in turn, do the same thing until all the
wireless routers in range were infected.
Based on a study of New York City, a worm of this type could easily
reach 20,000 routers within just a few days.
The only thing that can stop a worm of this type from spreading is
having a strong password on your wireless router. If the worm cannot
guess the password, it cannot access your router and will not spread.
This is just another reason to make sure you have changed the default
passwords on your wireless router.
Now, I'm not going to leave you hanging. Here's how to change the
password on your wireless router:
1.) First, you need to find the address of your router. In Windows XP,
go to *Start*, *Control Panel*. From there, click on *Network
Connections*. Next, double click on your *Wireless Network Connection*
and then go to the *Support *tab. Write down the *Default Gateway*
address (it should start with 192.168).
2.) Next, you need to log in to your router. To do so, open your Web
browser and in the address bar, type the *Default Gateway* address you
wrote down. Then press *Enter* on your keyboard. That should bring you
to a log in screen. Type in the username and password for your router.
(If you don't know the username and password, you may need to check your
3.) Lastly, you need to change your router's password. Every router is a
little different, but you should be able to find an Administrator area
on the screen. In that area, you will see a place to change the password
for your router. Make sure your password is something you will remember,
but also something that will not be guessed easily. It should not be a
word, but rather capital letters, lowercase letters and numbers all
After changing your password, click *OK* and you'll be all set. Doing
this will definitely help to keep the worms out. Until next time, stay
safe out there, my friends!