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Thread: New Wireless Laptop (What Should I do to Secure it)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    New Wireless Laptop (What Should I do to Secure it)

    My mother got a new wireless laptop for Christmas, and I was reading before on AO that you should take certain precautions and download certain software before using it, but I can't remember what they were or where to find them, or where to start off at, and, wouldn't know where to begin anyway. So, I am wondering what I should do to secure it before starting to use it and anything else that I should know about it, this is my first time ever using wireless. It is using a windows xp OS and it has only been turned on once when she fist got it to set it up, well, twice now, cause I just turned it on cause I couldn't remeber what kind of OS it was using.

  2. #2
    HeadShot Master N1nja Cybr1d's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Boston, MA
    Start off by downloading the Windows Updates, Install an Antivirus software, and an AntiSpyware software. Using a different browser, such as Firefox instead of IE will also help.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    first and foremost make sure you have a firewall enabled when you get online... even if all you can use is windows firewall make sure you have something enabled while you download your windows updates. Cybr1d covered the basics for you AV, antispy, alternate webbrowser. I would recommend a firewall better than windows firewall when you get the chance as well.



    some of those are free some are pay for them


    Do some research on these and pick one that best suits you or your mothers needs
    Duct tape.....A whole lot of Duct Tape
    Spyware/Adaware problem click

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    I'd reccommend spyweeper, spybot (immunize function), ie-spyads, mvps.org's host file, blockfile and spywareblaster to protect and againt spyware. Kerio personal firewall is the best in my eyes and and thing norton to protect you from viruses.

    Firefox is a must, do all windows updates and use merijns.org 's bug off to close exploits and also use safexp and xpantispy for other holes and optimizations. If you use outlook or OLE id recommend thunderbird also.

    Also make sure you wireless router has up to date firware and setup encyrption, hide you Ssid, make an ACL and change the default password on it.

    I have plenty of other ideas if you need more specifics jsut ask


  5. #5
    Is your network adapter internal or external? What kind of router do you have? (just curious).

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    If it's XP be sure to enable the Windows Firewall.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    The windows firewall is still lacking in true firewall features but is better than nothing. ZoneAlarm is great for beginners. The firmware of the router is a must to update. If its linksys G router try the linux hack, It allows you to put linux on the router, This will allow you to setup your own firewall using iptables.

    For the laptop make sure latest patches, drivers, updates are installed.
    Good antivirus....what everyone else has said.

    Later on down the road though I'd go with cat-5, sure the wires are a pain but with all the wi-fi program comming out its almost more work securing the wireless side of a network than just going hard wired.
    Whats a \"START\" button?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    also as a precausuion be sure to enable WEP (or some other wireless encription) as well as making sure the other computers on the network are just as secure as the laptop. no sense reinforcing a wall if there is still a gate open right.
    Everyone is going to die, I am just as good of a reason as any.


  9. #9
    Some Assembly Required ShagDevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New Jersey
    You can fortify your new laptop by using the advice given to you by the other members and I somewhat agree with XTC on the encryption but stay away from WEP unless you have nothing else to use. Let me elaborate.
    For starters, I'm not entirely sure if you'll be using a wireless router (of your own) or connecting to existing wireless networks or both.

    Should you be using your own wireless network, I would suggest the following:
    1) Enable WPA or WPA-PSK on your wireless router (if it's available). If you have the option for WPA-PSK, use it, as it's very easy to setup on both the wireless router and your laptop (XP).
    2) Limit the IP range that the DHCP (your wireless router) can assign. I have mine setup to only hand out as many IP's as there are computers on my wireless network.
    3) Enable MAC filtering on your wireless router. Allow only those computers whose MAC addresses you assign to connect to the network.
    4) Some people also feel disabling your SSID broadcast is a good idea, but that's up to you.

    If the laptop is only going to be connecting to existing wireless networks (not your own wireless network), I would recommend fortifying the laptop as mentioned by other members. If possible, try to find wireless networks that use encryption.

    Hope that helps you on your way a bit.
    The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his - George Patton

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Is your network adapter internal or external? What kind of router do you have? (just curious).
    I'm not entirely sure if you'll be using a wireless router (of your own) or connecting to existing wireless networks or both.
    I'm going to be using a wireless router of my own, but haven't gotten one yet, my wife also suggested linkys, probably cause she works for them, but, unfortunately she is still in the Philippines waiting on her visa, so she can't do it herself, but that is probably what I am going to go with, so she can help me configure the router by phone.

    The network adapter is internal, and as of right now, there will only be one computer on that network, but I am going to get another wireless a little on down the road, say in a few months
    I thought I read this somewhere before, but can't remember, but the firefox firewall, I can download that for free? Cause that is what I was going to go with cause I heard some people on AO talking before saying it is one of the best firewalls out there. And what is cat-5?
    \"Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends\"-Ed Norton/25th Hour

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