Wireless Network Security

Wireless Network Security

Oakland University is pleased to offer 802.11b/g wireless connectivity for registered staff, students and faculty in many areas around campus. However, the public nature of wireless networks can lead to security and privacy concerns for those who use it. Aware of this, the wireless network infrastructure at Oakland has been implemented with many security features designed to provide many layers of security against viruses, spyware and eavesdropping:

  • When logging into the wireless network, your NetID username and password are encrypted before being sent over the wireless network. This prevents other computers from being able to intercept and read your personal NetID information.
  • Oakland University uses schemes to obscure your computer’s identity on the Internet. Your computer will appear to be different to anybody outside of the university, making any attacks on your computer particularly difficult to achieve.
  • To keep the wireless network simple to use, Wired Equivalency Privacy(WEP) is not employed. The wireless network systems are designed with adequate security in mind so that you do not have to worry about complicated settings and reduced speeds associated with WEP.

While Oakland University provides these features on our wireless networks, security is a shared responsibility. Here are a few things you can do for even greater security in protecting yourself and your computer:

  • Access the Internet using secure applications which encrypt your information before sending it. Using secure email, secure IM, and browsing using HTTPS are good ways to do this.
  • Have an antivirus program installed on your computer with up-to-date virus definitions. The UTS Helpdesk provides information, links, and security notices about viruses and spyware at oakland.edu/uts/common-good-core-resources/securityinfo/

  • Apply the latest security patches and updates to your operating system on a regular basis. Windows users should run Windows Update, while Mac OS X users should run Software Update at least once a week to keep your computer safe. Linux users should make sure their software is current using the package management system included with their distribution.
  • Do not open attachments or programs from the Internet you are not familiar with. Viruses, malware and spyware use these as ways to infect and compromise your computer.
  • Make sure that you are connecting to the authorized network “GRIZZNET” when using the wireless network. Connecting to something else is insecure and could lead to others eavesdropping your information.
  • Always login using your NetID username and password before using the wireless network.
  • Be aware of your personal surroundings. If you feel somebody is trying to watch your screen or keyboard, either move to another area or leave the location completely.