Safe use of WLAN base stations

A wireless local area network (WLAN) enables a wireless connection between computers and accessories and an information network. WLANs are used at homes, business premises and public spaces. WLAN technology involves some information security threats of which you should be aware.

It is difficult to limit the coverage area of a WLAN. For example, at home, the network may extend to the neighbour's apartment and at offices beyond the company premises.

WLAN identification and encryption

To ensure information security in wireless local area networks, it is essential to take the following steps:

  • Define identification settings for the WLAN (e.g. set a password). Without user identification, anyone within the coverage area of the wireless base station can connect to the WLAN.
  • Encrypt the traffic transmitted in the WLAN. It is easy to listen in on unencrypted network traffic.

To encrypt WLAN traffic, you should use at least the WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) protocol. It is recommendable to use the newer WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) protocol if the devices and software support it. Detailed instructions on how to enable security features are available in the hardware and software manufacturers' instruction manuals.

WLAN passwords

In wireless networks, passwords are used in user identification and logging in to the base station control panel. You should change the default password of the control panel of your wireless base station when you start using the device.

Key words: Information security , Internet , Data protection

Updated 15.06.2014

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The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA)

The National Cyber Security Centre Finland (NCSC-FI)

Itämerenkatu 3 A

P.O. Box 313


Media contacts by telephone +358 295 390 248