If you are using a wireless network at home, you should be informed of all the risks and limitations that come along with the liberty of going wireless.
First, since everything is technically floating in the air, the information can be accessed easily by anyone within the range.
Secondly, even if you are transmitting with the current security protocols and encryption standards, you still can become the victim of a cyber-attack. Hackers are always finding new ways to entire gain access.
In a previous post, we talked about the security issues related to public Wi-Fi. But what if there was also a danger at home?
I know how much the heart aches when someone has unauthorized access to your Wi-Fi. Therefore I am going to share with you how to secure Wi-Fi networks in 4 easy tips that will help you keep the intruders away.
1 – Change the Default Settings
If you have never logged into your modem or home router, you are probably giving away too much liberty to your guests.
Most routers are set to default settings when you initially plug in and when it joins the network – wanted or unwanted devices can access your router and modify its settings.
It’s important that you log into your router and change the default settings to block unauthorized access.
Most of the routers come with the following settings:
Password: or admin
Log in and change the settings. A full list of default logins can be found HERE.
2 – Enable MAC Filtering
MAC address or Machine Address is a string of characters that identify a machine. All the routers have a feature that allows only the whitelisted MAC addresses to connect to the network. This is one of the best security measures you can follow.
Log into your modem, enable MAC Filtering and add all your devices including cell phones to the MAC whitelist.
While this will ensure that the notorious neighbors do not have access to your Wi-Fi, adding new MAC addresses when people visit your home can be a pain.
3 – Wireless Encryption
In short, use WPA2-PSK (TKIP/AES)! This is where the magic happens.
All of your Wi-Fi signals need to travel from your phone, computer, printer, etc. You need to make sure those packets are secured.
Your router is the beacon that communicates with surrounding devices. You need to make sure you are using current IEEE standards.
The 3 common (popular) types of encryptions available on a modern day routers are as followed:
1) WEP- Ancient, easily breakable by the hackers but strong enough to stop the kids from connecting and eating your bandwidth.
2) WPA- This is basically the standard WPA, or WPA1, encryption. It’s been superseded and isn’t secure anymore and becoming phased out.
2) WPA2- modern, efficient, secure and cannot be broken into. However, your old device may not have this encryption.
Another thing to note here is that the devices you are going to connect to your Wi-Fi must have the same encryption as your router. If you have WPA2 security on your network and your old smartphone does not support WPA2, it will never be able to connect to your home Wi-Fi network.
4 – Analyze and Troubleshoot
Now that we have done everything we should protect our network from intruders, it is time to analyze the lose points and fix them.
While this can be done manually, I prefer making use of an app called WiFi Analyzer – Home Wifi Alert. This app has saved me a lot of time and since it is on my Android phone, I can do all the troubleshooting while I am cooking or watching sports.
A single tap scans all the things that are connected to my network and helps me identify the unwanted machines. It then displays all the technical details of each and every machine connected to the network which helps me to pinpoint the threats and block them right away.
There are many great features built into this analyzer: Wi-Fi strength indicator, access points names indicator, one of a kind access points graphs and finally it assists you in building a secure network where only trusted devices are welcomed.
Network security is one thing that you should not be taking lightly. Protect your bandwidth, monitor your Wi-Fi network, and keep your devices patched and current, and you can be less exposed to falling victim to a cybercrime.
Do you have other tips on how to secure your Wi-Fi network? Share them in the comments below.