This post follows on from one I made back on the 12th July –7 Simple Tips For Securing Your Wireless Home Network.
Wireless connectivity allows for easy connection of computers and other devices within a home or office network.
That convenience, however, opens up a potential security threat as the wireless signal that you are using can, potentially, be picked up easily by other people in your vicinity –
If you are unfortunate then this could include hackers, and other unwelcome people, who may try to stop, slow down, or otherwise abuse your wireless connection.
The following 6 simple steps can all afford your wireless network a certain level of protection –
1. Change The System ID
Any device that is attached to a wireless local area network (WLAN) will have a default system ID known as the SSID (Service Set Identifier) or ESSID (Extended Service Set Identifier).
Also, wireless devices from the same manufacturer will all share the same SSID, thereby making it simple for a hacker to figure out the default SSID for a certain network.
Therefore, you should always change the default SSID to something unique to yourself in order to make it difficult for hackers to surf your network.
2. Disable SSID
If you’re utilising wireless Internet in your home then you may want to disable your SSID from being broadcast altogether.
Broadcasting your SSID is like inviting your neighbours to hijack your connection and could lead to slow-downs, spam and viruses if you are unlucky enough to live near to the wrong sort of people.
3. Use Encryption
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) are encryption methods that scramble the data on your wireless network so that only computers that have the correct encryption key can read your data.
You can use either the 64-bit or 128-bit WEP to encrypt your data, though it should be noted that WEP has some security flaws.
The newer WPA encryption method comes without the flaws of WEP but may not be compatible with other, older, WEP-based devices that may be connected to the network.
4. Prevent Unwanted Traffic
Most wired and wireless routers come with built-in firewalls.
Router firewalls may not be particularly advanced but they do restrict unwanted traffic nonetheless.
To find out how to filter out unwanted traffic either read the manual for your hardware or leave the default settings in place.
5. Change The Default Password
Wireless routers and access points from particular manufacturers all come with the same default password.
This simple tip will improve your wireless security and make it harder for hackers to use your wireless connection.
6. Patch And Update
Ideally, you should install a personal firewall and anti-virus software before you connect to the internet through your wireless connection.
Combined, these two pieces of security protection will reduce the risks of your PC being infiltrated by hackers and malicious software.
Check and update your anti-virus software on a regular basis in order to keep your computer free of spyware, adware and common computer viruses.
It is also essential to maintain your operating system by downloading and installing patches for known security vulnerabilities.
If you are using an operating system from Microsoft then you can use Windows Update to automatically download and install all essential patches.