Network Security

The Internet can be a wonderful tool for work and play, but also bears risk if used improperly. Properly connecting to a network in a secure fashion can reduce the chances of others tampering with your computer or connection.

Secure networks

Residence halls

When connecting wirelessly in the residence halls, you should choose IllinoisNet as your wireless network. IllinoisNet uses WPA2-Enterprise encryption, which means that your connection will be more secure. This security is sometimes required for certain applications to be fully functional.

When connecting via wire in the residence halls, you should try to connect in your own room rather than a lounge if possible. Room connections have extra security built-in that lounge connections do not, which may be required for certain applications to fully function.

Outside the residence halls

Connecting securely is still important outside of the residence halls. Many restaurants and shops offer public Wi-Fi for their customers, but often forgo security for convenience. As a rule of thumb, avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi when possible, and use a mobile data connection instead. If you must use public Wi-Fi, try to use networks that require a password over networks that don't. Good planning of Internet use can help you avoid situations where you connect to insecure networks.

Network settings

After connecting to any campus or public network, you may be prompted to select the type of network setting you would like to use. Even though the residence hall is your home, we recommend that you set it to public, so that other residents cannot access your computer when you're connected. You probably don't want to give each one of your hundreds of neighbors the capability to connect to your computer.

Checking network settings

If you need to confirm what location you set your network to, you can do so by following the instructions for your operating system.

Windows 7

  1. Select the Start button
  2. Type "Network and Sharing Center" and select Network and Sharing Center
  3. Under "View your active networks", find your network name
  4. Select the link under it that says "____ network"
  5. Select Public Network

Windows 8

  1. Open the charms bar by swiping from the right edge of the screen (or, if you're using a mouse, pointing to the lower-right corner of the screen and moving the mouse pointer up)
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select the Networks icon which is in the top-right corner of the bottom section
  4. Select View Connection Settings
  5. Select the network you would like to adjust
  6. Under "Find devices and content", set "Find PCs, devices and content on this network and automatically connect to devices like printers and TVs. Turn this off for public networks to help keep your stuff safe." Off

OS X

  1. Select the Apple logo in the top right corner
  2. Select System Preferences…
  3. Select Sharing
  4. Uncheck all checkboxes on the left panel