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Blocking Wireless

By akstephr ·
Here's the situation. We have several employees who are allowed to use their personal laptops at work. However, they are supposed to use them for work. It appears that several of them are surfing. There are 3 WiFi hotspots in the area. Is there any way to block the signal?

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by mjd420nova In reply to Blocking Wireless

Being that active jamming (transmitting a signal that interferes with another) is illegal, the only alternative is to use grounded screens placed in the walls or around their cubicles. This works effectively for cell phones in theaters, churches and hospitals but takes a real professional to make them really effective. Some buildings (stucco) are naturally effective due to construction procedures. One effective method I've used is to ground the foil used in foil backed insulation placed in crawl spaces and attics, if it's already in place. Addition of foil and metal screens and grounding them can work wonders. If you're just trying to block them out, the WIFI routers should have MAC screening and that will eliminate them from even hooking up. If they need access for work, it could be tough to stop them surfing unless you use a firewall and only allow specific sites to be viewed.

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by akstephr In reply to Blocking Wireless

Unfortunately, the wireless routers do not belong to us, but to the burger joint and bars across the street, so mac address screening will not work. As to the grounding of foil backed insulation, the entire front of the building is a glass showroom, so that won't work either. These employees do not need the internet at all, but since we don't own them, I can't remove the browsers. Any other ideas?

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by mjd420nova In reply to Blocking Wireless

I guess it'll be pretty tough to do much then, if they own the laptops themselves, maybe you could talk to the owners of the routers and get them to block them for you. Other than that, try waving a big stick at them and make threatening noises.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Blocking Wireless

You're between a Rock & a Hard Place on this one as you don't own the NB's you have no control over what's done with them and I suppose the Hot Spots are deliberately left open for customers of these places as a way to get extra customers so they are unlikely to limit access to their WiFi Connections though it may be worth a trip to them and tell them that they are being taken for a ride as the signal is so strong that you can pick it up at your place of employment and it's strong there. That may make them think about limiting the strength of the signal that they are putting out as it is adversely affecting their ability to attract customers into their places of business.

Other than having an acceptable Computer Usage Policy in place I don't think that there is much that you can do here except totally remove them from any internal network as they are a Security Threat to the LAN that you are supposed to be administering.

If they can get out who's to say that they are not unwittingly infecting your network and sending vital company data off site through their infected machines?


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

Or since you have big windows at the front have you considered enclosing them with a Security Grate to prevent theft of stuff from the office? If these Security Grates are wired together and earthed they will make a fairly effective Faraday Cage and limit the WiFi signals that are coming in from the WiFi Hot Spots. Of course the Security Grates will have to be in line between the Hot Spots and NB's that are using them. Just earthing the Security Grates is always a great idea as it prevents damage to the building in electrical storms as well so you would be protecting the user from themselves.

Of course if you have a metal roof you can directly connect the security grates to the roof as well so that the roof is earthed to help prevent Lighting strike damage.

Failing that a Little Stick with a Big Lump of leather on the end works quite well I'm told. :^0

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by CG IT In reply to Blocking Wireless

I like mjd420nova's idea. Wave a big stick and make threatening noises.

After they throw paperwads at you and laugh, the talk to the burger joint and other businesses about blocking them via MAC address is about the only other course of action that would work.

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by bandwidth hog In reply to Blocking Wireless

Simply create a policy that the users must sign that states they will not use their equipment to connect to any of the wi-fi spots. You can go as far as to say that you are working closely with the owners of the wifi spots who will be supplying you with a log of people who are connecting which you are monitoring. Failure to comply to the policy will lead to diciplinary action up to and including termination. (waving big stick and making lots of noise)

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by pierrejamme In reply to Blocking Wireless

My opinion, bad policy to let people bring in laptops to work! It's hard to understand any reason why it would be allowed?? Can you explain?

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