How To Secure Wireless Networks
With wireless networks popping up everywhere from coffeehouses, businesses, and our own homes, the convenience of a wireless network is quite wonderful. However practically all wireless routers come out of the box in an insecure state. This means that it is very easy to not only use your wireless network, but also hack into your computer and steal sensitive data, or your neighbor could be illegally downloading files using your network. This could lead authorities to YOUR house, and not your neighbors!
Here are some things that you can do to your wireless router or access point to help make your wireless network more secure.
1. Change the default text of your SSID.
This is usually the name of the manufacturer. Its also best to use something non-descript. like WLAN, and not your last name, or steet address. All too often the use of the default SSID on a wireless network indicates that the owner hasn’t taken proper security precautions, if any, and therefore their wireless network becomes a target for infiltration.
2. Don’t Broadcast your SSID.
When a computer searches for a wireless network, this is what it looks for. So if you aren’t broadcasting, you won’t show up on their search list. Although this makes it easier to set up a wireless network, it also makes it easier for hackers, and next door neighbors to use your network. Think about it, would you stand outside your house and yell “Hey! I have WiFi here!”. I doubt it, but that is basically what you are doing if you don’t turn off the SSID.
3. Don’t use the default administrator usernames and passwords on your wireless router.
When you try to access your wireless router, it will ask you for a username, and password. This needs to be changed away from their default values, as there are many lists with default passwords on the internet. I can’t tell you how many people have called me with a wifi problem, and they don’t know anything. Even though I am on the phone, I can often times walk them through breaking into their own wireless routers simply because they don’t make this change. Therefore it would be just as easy for a hacker to lock YOU out of your own wireless network.