Because the 802.11 wireless specification uses the 2.4Ghz frequency
range, anyone with basic networking knowledge and a cheap wireless
receiver can eavesdrop on your network usage. This means that someone
can potentially see your user name and password and whatever else you
may be working on. Thus if you are currently using the wireless network,
ut-open, to access UT's computer network, it is important that you
consider securing your wireless communications. OIT has developed the
following webpage to provide you with basic security information as well
as some tips to help you secure your wireless connection.
Why isn't my connection secure?
Because wireless network access uses radio frequency to broadcast and
retrieve data, the data can be viewed by anyone within the signal range
of your computer. While the 802.11 wireless specification did originally
feature built in security, it was found to be too weak to offer real
Since the 802.11 wireless network is not secure, it is crucial that you
take the proper precautions and secure your communications over the
What security options do you have available?
SSLIf you choose to not use the WPA2, it is important that you use programs
that offer built in encryption. Both Firefox and Internet Explorer
offer SSL encryption, but pages are only encrypted if the server that
you are connected to supports SSL. Most university related sites that
require password verification use SSL, but it is important that you
check and make sure that the site does offer encryption. You can tell if
a site is encrypted by checking to see if there is a padlock present in
the bottom right corner of the browser or beside the address bar.SSHIt is also important that you use encryption if you access university
resources through remote terminal services. A protocol that offers built
in encryption was developed to replace telnet and can be used to
connect to all OIT resources. This protocol, called secure shell or SSH
requires an SSH compliant client, but allows you to access university
resources with ease and security.If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact the helpdesk.
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The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System