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Wireless Networking

Wireless Networking

Wireless logo

Wireless networks are generally considered to be less secure than wired networks; however, with proper configuration and encryption enabled, they can provide more than adequate security for most users. Read our Accessing Wireless Networks Safely Brochure to learn more and better protect your privacy.

Wireless at RIT

RIT offers three different wireless networks across campus: an open public network, an encrypted WPA network, and an encrypted WPA2 network. We strongly recommend using the WPA2 or WPA network at all times, as they provide much better quality and security for users. WPA2 is the preferred protocol, as it offers the best security.

The WPA and WPA2 network signals are not broadcast publicly, so your computer will not automatically detect them. ITS provides instructions on How to Access RIT’s WPA Wireless Network.

More information on wireless networking at RIT can be found on the ITS Wireless Computing at RIT page.

Residential Networking

Please note that the use of wireless network routers is not permitted in residential areas on campus. Use of wired routers is acceptable; however, you should read and comply with Resnet’s guide to Using a Router on the RIT Network prior to setup.

Wireless at Home 

Without a secure configuration, your wireless network is open to anyone within range of the access point (typically anywhere from 100-1000 feet). Anyone in your area can "piggyback" on your connection and use your Internet, which can lead to a number of problems such as service violations, bandwidth shortages, abuse, activity monitoring, or direct attacks to your computer.

BEST PRACTICES FOR HOME WIRELESS NETWORKS
  • Change Your Default SSID and Administrator Password (See About.com for overview, but process varies by manufacturer)
  • Disable SSID Broadcasting 
  • Enable WPA Encryption
  • Enable MAC Address Filtering (See About.com for overview, but process varies by manufacturer)
  • Keep Your Access Point Software Up-To-Date with Patches
  • Use Your Router's Built-in Firewall
  • Use File Sharing with Caution

Public Wireless Networks

Many public access points are not secured, and the traffic they carry is not encrypted. This puts your sensitive communications and transactions at risk. Because your connection is being transmitted "in the clear," malicious users can use sniffing tools, "shoulder surfing," or other methods to obtain information including passwords, bank account numbers, unauthorized computer access, and credit card numbers quite easily.

BEST PRACTICES FOR PUBLIC WIRELESS NETWORKS
  • Avoiding Sending Sensitive Information (such as online banking, shopping, etc..) over a Wireless Network
  • Stay on Secure Websites (look for HTTPS and lock icon)
  • Encrypt Your Traffic
  • Connect Using VPN (Virtual Private Networking)
  • Disable File Sharing
  • Be Aware of Your Surroundings
 

 

Information Access & Protection Standard

Information Access & Protection Standard

The Information Access & Protection (IAP) Standard provides requirements for the proper handling of information at RIT.

Information Classifications

The standard classifies information into four categories: Private, Confidential, Internal, and Public.

Private information

Private information is information that is confidential and which could be used for identity theft. Private information also has additional requirements associated with its protection (e.g., state and federal mandates). Examples include:

  • Social Security Numbers (SSNs) or other national identification numbers
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Financial account information (bank account numbers, checks, credit or debit card numbers), etc.

Confidential information

Confidential information is information that is restricted to a need-to-know basis and due to legal, contractual, ethical, or other constraints may not be accessed or communicated without specific authorization. Examples include:

  • Educational records governed by FERPA that are not defined as directory information (see RIT Educational Records Policy D15.0)
  • Employee and student health information as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Faculty research or writing before publication or during the intellectual property period (see RIT Intellectual Property Policy 3.0)

Internal information

Internal information is restricted to RIT faculty, staff, students, alumni, contractors, volunteers, and business associates for the conduct of Institute business. Examples include online building floor plans, specific library collections, etc.

Public information

Public information may be accessed or communicated by anyone without restriction and has no special handling requirements associated with it.

Who do the requirements apply to?

This Standard applies to everyone who accesses RIT Information Resources, whether affiliated with RIT or not, from on campus or from remote locations, including but not limited to: students, faculty, staff, contractors, consultants, temporary employees, alumni, guests, and volunteers.

What are RIT Information Resources?

RIT Information Resources include but are not limited to:

  • RIT-owned or leased transmission lines, networks, wireless networks, servers, exchanges, Internet connections, terminals, applications, and computers
  • Information owned by RIT or used by RIT under license or contract, in any form, including but not limited to:
    • Electronic media
    • Portable media
    • Electronic hardware
    • Software
    • Network communications devices
    • Paper
  • Personal computers, servers, wireless networks, mobile devices, and other devices not owned by RIT but intentionally connected to RIT Information Resources.

What do I have to do?

Everyone who accesses RIT Information Resources should know and understand the four classes of information at RIT and appropriate handling practices for each class. Specific roles and responsibilities are detailed in the Information Access and Protection Standard.

Information Access & Protection Standard

 

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