Having an insecure WiFi network is almost like leaving your front door without a lock, while you were out visiting your parents in another state. There is a good chance you would go for weeks without any trouble, but someday someone is going to notice, and imagine the kind of damage that can follow. Coming home to a stranger watching your TV or taking a shower in your bathroom is never the best of sites anyone wants to be staring at. Yet it’s all a possibility when you take a chance like that with the security of your house. Same follows for your WiFi network; a stranger can not only use it to surf the internet and probably do shady things which get attributed to your name but also steal your personal data and sniff into your passwords and browsing sessions with relative ease.
So why let your important personal data fall into the wrong hands when it only takes a few simple steps to ensure your WiFi is fully secure and locked out for intruders?

Getting the Basics: The Default Login Details

The first and foremost step you can take towards a secure Wi-Fi network in your house or the workplace is by changing the default login details for your router. Most manufacturers print the default password on the back of the router, along with a default SSID name for the network. SSID name is what you click on to connect to a specific network when searching for available networks in your locality. While some manufacturers keep default login details across multiple devices. While the exact combination can vary between different models, but default login details or te ones printed behind the router can easily be looked into, and if you are keeping them as they are, then there is a good chance someone has been using your Wi-Fi without you knowing.
Not to forget having simpler and easy to guess logins and passwords are still easy to game for seasoned hackers if one of those happens to be living in your neighborhood or happens to pass by. USB powered wireless devices are common these days, and carried around by most Laptop users and gamers.
Hence, always make sure to change the SSID and the login details as the first thing, to have this first line of defense against intrusion fully active and functional.

SSID Broadcasting needs to be On

All routers by default will broadcast the name of the network (SSID) to the covered area, so the devices can discover the network and connect to it. Disabling, the broadcast of this SSID, will only cloak your network and won’t really protect it from intrusion. Any skilled intruder with the right set of tools and software can easily discover your cloaked network, and hence it serves no purpose to hide it. While instead, it only hampers your connectivity as some devices can only stay connected if the SSID is actively broadcasted.

Use the Firewall

Modern routers come with built-in firewalls. This firewall is your shield against intrusion and packet sniffing. It secures your network from any hacking attempts and also protects the data that you are transmitting and receiving by keeping it secure. It’s like a traffic warden who controls the flow of traffic, and keeps it from going to areas it shouldn’t be going to.
You can configure your firewall to disable files and printer sharing, and then you can use the stealth mode to block ping requests that originate from unknown sources.
This prevents the hackers from sniffing into your private data or scanning your network for vulnerabilities they could exploit.
The best way to determine if your network’s firewall is working is by trying to penetrate it with the help of a network security probing software. You can find some freeware software to accomplish that, or even trial versions of premium software can help you here.

Firmware needs to be updated

Almost all router manufacturing companies ensure the security of their devices by releasing security updates from time to time, to combat newer threats as and when they come known. Hence, it’s best always to install it when available. Some routers also come with an auto firmware update feature which can be very beneficial here. This helps you stay on top of the hackers and security exploiters and hence secure from the latest threats that can threaten the privacy of your data and network.

Some other tips to help you secure your network

·Never use a password that is easy to guess or weak. This can include your spouses’ name or date of birth, or the name of your dog or your pet. These are commonly used as passwords, and most hackers are already aware of that. Hence, someone who knows you or lives in your neighborhood will be aware of this and can easily break into your WiFi.

  • Keeping your software and hardware drivers up to date is an essential practice to follow. Your Operating System, the web browser, antivirus, and antispyware software, and other tools that you use often use need to be updated frequently to ensure the best safety for your web surfing and WiFi usage.
  • WPA2 is the best encryption to protect your WiFi. It’s known to be more resilient to intrusion attempts and networks protected by it are very hard to get into.
  • Creating and maintaining a separate guest network for nonfamily members that need access to your network, is a good security measure to protect access and intrusion you’re your network and the device connected to it. Most often the intruders can be same people who you once gave access to your main WiFi details.
  • MAC addresses can be easily spoofed nowadays, while the MAC address filtering is usually the culprit behind delays and issues with the connectivity. MAC addressing is useful for telling your network about which devices are to connect, but they also become a vulnerability that you don’t want to keep around.

 

Conclusion

Keeping your Wireless network access secure is as essential as locking down any other private data that you won’t like falling in the wrong hands of strangers. While securing your network is only a few steps away, and knowing and understanding those measures, can save you a ton of regret and lost data or privacy.

 

Author's Bio: 

Freelancer Writer