When it comes to using Wi-Fi, most of us don’t really put much thought into how safe it is. We often connect to public networks without giving it a second thought, leave our phone in places where they can be used by unauthorized people or do many other things which are not very safe for our devices.
All these days, WPA2 has been our protector when it comes securing Wi-Fi networks. If your home Wi-Fi password protected, it probably used the WPA2 If you don’t know what WPA2 is, let’s take a look at the definitions.
“WPA” is the short form of Wi-Fi Protected Access. The pioneers of WPA were WPA1 and WEP, which are not widely used anymore as they are insecure. Since 2004, WPA2 has been the one we’ve all been using. WPA2 requires the usage of strong and robust AES encryption which is still quite hard for hackers to crack. This method of encryption guarantees that a Wi-Fi access point such as a router and a client such as a phone can securely communicate.
WPA2 is a security protocol or standard that defines how you connect to a password-protected Wi-Fi network. Basically, it sets the rules about how a router and a Wi-Fi client device such as a phone or a laptop can ensure that each of them will be able to maintain a secure communication without being spied on. It facilitates the “handshake” that leads to establishing a transfer of data over the network.
However, WPA2 has some limitations that have been talked about for many years now. Which is why the announcement of WPA3 by the Wi-Fi Alliance has caught everyone’s eye in the CES 2018. WPA3 is the third version of WPA and is going to replace WPA2 in a matter of time. It is predicted to make the lives of hackers much harder.
Basically, WPA2 and WPA3 certifications are both attributes given to device manufacturers after they have fully implemented the necessary security features in their devices and then applied for it. Only after being accepted can they label their devices as “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ WPA2™” or “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ WPA3™” and put them on the market.
If you’re wondering what the limitations of WPA2 are that WPA3 can overcome, there are basically four fundamental features of WPA3 that make it better than WPA2. Even though the details of these have not been disclosed yet, we can tell you the basic problems they wanted to fix.
Securing Public Wi-Fi networks
Wherever we are, let it be an airport, café or any place we don’t usually visit, we are always looking for an open and public Wi-Fi. The reason is simple, no one likes using their mobile data!
However, what we fail to realize is that when it comes to security, these networks are in a really bad place. Since they don’t require a password for people to connect to the network, they don’t really have any security standards to meet.
Data sent over such unprotected networks are not encrypted at all, they are just sent as plain text! Even if you have to sign in to the network via a webpage, it doesn’t make a difference. While the increase of HTTPS connections did somewhat improve things, it didn’t stop people from finding out which sites you are visiting and what those pages contained. Basically, everything you do on a public network can be easily spied on by criminals.
To solve this issue, WPA will introduce “individualized data encryption”. So, even if you connect to a network that doesn’t have a password, the data sent between your device and the router will be encrypted. Unless someone knows how to decrypt it/ crack the encryption, your information should be perfectly safe!
Securing users from Brute-Force Attacks
WPA2 ensures that you have entered the correct password and that both devices maintain proper encrypting methods. When a device connects to the access point, they perform a “handshake” based on those 2 checkpoints. However, this method has been proved to have loopholes in the KRACK attack in 2017.
WPA3 claims to have a new “handshake” that will provide strong security even if users cannot choose a strong password. Therefore, it will protect you against brute force attacks where someone tries to enter a network without knowing the exact password.
Making things simpler for display-less devices
You’ve probably heard the lament many times, how the digital age has ruined communication between people. The fact is, effective communication has never been easy electronically or face-to-face. It’s both art and science.
Think of how you speak to your mother compared to how you speak to your brother, compared to your spouse or the person you’re dating, your best friend, your coworker, the guy at the pizza place, the garbage collector, your boss, and so on. There’s a difference, however slight, in how you approach them all. Now, consider the difference in how you communicate with those people when one of you is, or both of you are angry, versus when you are both happy, and when you haven’t seen each other in a long time versus when you’ve been seeing each other daily for months.
Now, consider these individuals in your life, and contrast how you communicate with the ones you like vs the ones you dislike. Even in that small circle of individuals, you change your style of communication repeatedly according to the person, the mood, the physical circumstance, the topic, the urgency of the topic, if you both agree on the urgency of the topic, and so on. You have to do this because each situation requires a different approach. Your words, your tone of voice, your style of speaking, even your body language must change from one circumstance to another.
Did you realize this was going on every day of your life? Now, throw customers into the mix, and you’ve got a situation that makes heads spin. It’s no wonder that we often talk past each other.
My homiletics professor in seminary is one of the best communicators I’ve ever met, and he gave us some tremendous wisdom regarding clear and effective communication. I’d like to share two pieces of that wisdom with you in this post. The first and simplest is; There are always three messages in any presentation you give; 1. What you intend to say 2. What you do say, and 3. What your listener(s) heard. You’ve got to tie these together or face muddying your message.
You see this daily on social media. If I tweet that sautéing in butter produces good chicken breasts, I’m not saying the original breast shouldn’t have been carefully selected, the chicken raised humanely, trimmed of fat, cooked to proper temperature, isn’t good with other ingredients, that raw poultry juice shouldn’t be cleaned up immediately, or that chicken is inherently better than turkey, but those types of off-topic comments tend to follow because people are where they are, not where you want them to be.
All I can think of in those moments is that I only wanted to say, “good chicken”. Your audience is somewhere; bring them to you by how you present yourself and your idea.
Take the time to formulate your thoughts and presentation clearly and concisely. Consider your audience and how they need to hear your message to grasp it. Consider your own personality and how it affects your presentation. Ask afterward “have I been clear?” Always give room for the distinct possibility that you have not expressed yourself as well as you intended, and be ready to elucidate from an entirely different direction. Then, don’t feel bad that some people are only ever going to want the chance to speak their thoughts.
The second piece of wisdom is this; have 1 point, and make it clear.
Whether your conversation is personal or business, electronic or in person, there’s some point you want to make; don’t let it get lost in the clutter of a dozen other points that don’t support your one main point.
If you want to plan a presentation aimed at garnering a new client, decide what your main point is to them, which should be why doing business with you will be the best resolution to their problem. As you plan your presentation, set out a list of bullet points that need to be expressed, and if any of them don’t serve the purpose of directly showing the client why they would benefit from this business arrangement, ruthlessly purge your presentation of that point.
Practice your presentation, and if you find yourself wandering into points that don’t serve the immediate goal (e.g., “last year we won an award for shiniest widget”), brutally redirect your thinking on that bullet point until your every word serves the purpose.
I know I heard a lot of words, but what did he say?
Have you ever listened to a speaker, and at some stage found yourself counting the ceiling tiles or wondering if you have enough lettuce at home to make a salad? While that might be your fault (did you have breakfast?), there’s also a very good chance that the speaker wasn’t seizing your attention. Don’t be the cause of disinterest in your audience. Seize their attention with clearly presented points, active language, and pertinent illustrations.
Try this; strive to condense your throughline into a clear, compelling, memorable sentence, and this will help ensure that you have a point, a goal, and help you map out the journey to that goal.
As I highlighted at the beginning of this article, communication takes on different forms depending on its goal at the moment, but if you intentionally train yourself to focus on the topic at hand, both your professional and personal communications will benefit. People will understand you better, get your point of view more quickly, be able to respond sooner, and your time will be spent more wisely than before.
I highly suggest for anyone who does presentations (including pastors), a book by my homiletics professor, Dr. Denny Prutow, “So Pastor, What’s Your Point?” In it, his goal is to help preachers become excellent communicators, and the strategies are sound communication tools which have passed the test of time in a wide variety of fields, and hold true from the pulpit to the boardroom to the sales presentation.
So…have I been clear? If not, just let me know!
Hi, I’m Mark Brown, CMO for Flint Tech Solutions, very excited about our upcoming rebranding! Our great services will remain but expand, plus we’ll be debuting a new website shortly, and that’s where you come in.
I need content writers! We are personally invested in helping folks stay abreast of the newest moves in the tech and digital business strategies that move our world daily, and to offer that and bolster our own digital marketing efforts, we want to have a blog that becomes a daily destination for anyone interested in technology, marketing, and communication.
Digital business, digital marketing, digital transformation, Cloud computing, cybersecurity, social media marketing, marketing automation, DevOps, app development, all these and more are services we provide.
We need a wide array of voices representing these fields. If you don’t believe tech is your thing, don’t be afraid to think creatively. We already have a lawyer providing insights on how our lives are legally affected by the changes around us, two of our technicians are writing through their own eyes on tech (I think “Jason’s Garage”, a column detailing Jason’s ongoing creations literally from his garage, is going to wow you), my contributions will focus more on marketing and communications, and product reviews are another avenue we’d like to offer since we provide hardware too. White papers and other lead generators are, of course, always welcome!
You’ve got a lens through which you both view the world and express yourself about it. We’d like to see it and pay you for it.
If this is a venture that fits in your lane of travel, get in touch with me for the details! If you’re curious about whether this might be a fit for you, get in touch! Look at our current website to get an idea of who Flint is, what we’re about, and why we feel confident in our plans of becoming a player in the tech/business solutions field.
We help you do business better!