What security concerns should I be worried about when sharing folders over my network?

by on January 2, 2011

Q: I’m looking to share folders and/or drives between computers on my home network. I have a router for my home network with both wired and wireless connections.

As I understand it the router offers some level of security just by the fact that computers on the internal network send traffic using an internal IP address while traffic on the outside of the network use a different IP prefix (192 vs anything else). Traffic originated from a computer on the internal network is allowed to pass out from the router, but unsolicited traffic from the outside is not routed to my internal network… for the most part…. barring any specials settings the router has setup for port forwarding… My understanding here is not great.

1. Is my basic understanding of router protection correct?
2. If I start to share folders on my internal network (computer1) whats my security concerns? If the router is blocking unsolicited traffic, then wheres my gap?
3. I also have firewall software on my computers (computer1 & 2). Is there something I can do with the firewall software to cover the gaps in router security (see question 2)?

2 Responses to “What security concerns should I be worried about when sharing folders over my network?”
    Picked as best answer

    There are a few security concerns that you still may want to be wary about when sharing folders.

    1. Make sure that your wireless network is secure with a WEP or WPA security password. (This will not allow bypassers to just connect into your wireless.)
    2. A software firewall is a good thing to have on all your computers whether or not your sharing folders(hardware is always better if you can afford it.)
    3. You are correct that having an internal network will protect you further with using shared folders. For even more security you can set all your computers up in a workgroup environment.

    It sounds like you have most of the security covered. If you have any more questions please let me know.


    thanks jselden73.

    I do have WEP enabled on my wireless. In addition I have MAC filtering enabled (hopefully only enabling known computrs on my network, possibly overkill).

    I hadn’t thought about using workgroups. I will look into this and post any questions I have.

    Also, I will try to setup some folder sharing now that I have some confidence that I have reasonable security in place. I seem to recall my firewall software (mcafee) complaining excessively when I tried to do this before, so I may post back some more specific questions.