Wireless internet has given us incredibly mobility, and the ability to access the internet from virtually anywhere. However, there are cyber criminals that may take advantage of a wireless network that is not secure. It’s possible for someone with a basic level of computer experience to steal your personal information by accessing a vulnerable network. Here are three simple steps you can use to secure your wireless network:
Wireless Network Security – Step 1. Change the Default Administrative Username and Password
The first and perhaps most important thing you should do is change the default administrative username and password on your router. Your router has its own portal, much like a website, that anyone can access wirelessly. This portal allows a user to change all kinds of settings from a remote location. Unfortunately, a router ships with a default username and password that anyone can look up. If your username and password are still set to their factory defaults, you are at a huge security risk! Change these settings as soon as possible.
Wireless Network Security – Step 2. Change the Default SSID
When you turn on your router, and connect to your home access point, you look for the identifying name of your network. This name is also known as the SSID. By default, an unchanged SSID will usually reflect the router’s manufacturer. For example, a Linksys router will usually have a default SSID of “linksys”. Although staying with the default name for your wireless network doesn’t compromise its security, it can make you a target for cyber criminals. In their eyes, a default SSID is a sign of a poorly configured network. Many people with default SSID’s leave their other security settings unchanged as well.
Wireless Network Security – Step 3. Enable Encryption
All of today’s wireless routers are capable of encrypting the signal they send. Encryption essentially scrambles the data that is sent and received so that only somebody with a password can interpret it. If you have ever logged on to a network that required a password, you have accessed an encrypted network. There are many different types of encryption you can set, which each have different levels of security. Although you may be tempted to choose the highest level of security encryption, you need to consider what your internet devices are capable of using. Unfortunately, every device on your network needs to use the same type of encryption. For example, even if your business laptop is capable of WPA2 encryption (currently the strongest), your child’s mobile gaming device may not be. Therefore, you may need to compromise with a lower level of security encryption. At a minimum, you should at least choose WEP encryption.
- 5 Simple (and Free) Steps to a Secure PC This post is originally authored at the home security…
This post is originally authored at the home security blog at family + home security.