Wireless computer systems offer the convenience of roaming within a given area and holding a constant connection to the Internet. A typical wireless signal can reach up to 300 feet and can easily extend beyond the walls of houses where a system operates. Would-be thieves can sit outside a house with a wireless computer system and attach to that system with a laptop, providing them with a connection to their victims' computer that is difficult to detect. This enables criminals to access personal information (identity theft), launch attacks against third parties anonymously, or send e-mails that will be traced back to the victim. There are a few steps that, although not an absolute defense from attacks, will make residential wireless networks more secure. A wireless equivalent protocol (WEP) is a security protocol for wireless networks that provides security with a low-level encryption. Although a WEP can be readily defeated by a knowledgeable criminal, it is better than leaving the system completely defenseless. Wi-Fi protected access (WPA) uses the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) to provide stronger encryption than WEP. It includes a pre-shared key authentication mechanism that should be sufficient for most home users as long as the pre-shared key is not based on a dictionary word. Another security step is to unplug the wireless router when it is not being used. The article concludes with suggestions for what to do if a system is compromised.