A surprising number of businesses and individuals do not take the proper precautions when it comes to wireless network security. In this guide, we will cover these precautions and provide a basic primer on some of the best practices with respect to improving your wireless network security.
1. Enable WPA2 encryption
Enabling WPA2 encryption is essential to protect your wireless data. Using the WEP encryption leaves you vulnerable to attacks, which can lead to someone accessing your network. You can also consider using a complex password with it as well. You can find this setting under the wireless security menu on your router. If you want to go for the gold standard in wireless network security, consider RADIUS or 802.1X authentication protocol.
2. Change your network’s default name and password
One of the most obvious things that people forget to do is to change their router’s default name and password. Each router has its own set of defaults, but they are all easy to guess. To make sure that your information stays safe, avoid using the manufacturer’s name as the SSID or any part of it for that matter.
The easiest way to keep your network safe is to change both the username and password. You can do this by locating your router’s model number on its bottom and googling the number. Make sure that both username and password are not easy to guess (at least 8 characters in length with numbers, lower-case letters, upper-case letters, and special characters).
3. Disable any remote administration tools
Remote administration tools allow people to access your router from outside of your home network. While they might seem like a good idea, they actually open up many vulnerabilities and leave you vulnerable to attacks. You can disable these settings by going into your router’s settings and looking for a tab called “remote administration.”
4. Secure your wireless devices
Most people secure their laptops but fail to do anything on their other wireless-enabled devices. You should consider doing this as well, especially if you have a tablet or a phone that uses a SIM card. There are several services out there that can provide a secure connection on these devices as well.
5. Update your router’s firmware
Another thing that people forget to do is to update their router’s firmware. These updates often include patches for known security threats and can keep you from being an easy target. As with everything, the more difficult it is for someone to attack you, the better. Make sure that you’re updating your firmware on a regular basis and ideally using a service like F-Secure SENSE to ensure that your home network is always up to date.
3. Disable SSID broadcasting
Disabling SSID broadcasting is another simple security measure that you can take. While it might seem like a good idea to leave this on, you don’t want people to see your network when they are passing by your house. This will only draw them closer. The more people who know about your network, the easier it becomes for hackers to access it. You can disable SSID broadcasting under the wireless settings on your router.
5. Use a firewall
Using a firewall on your router is another simple but essential security measure. A firewall is a software that blocks unauthorized access to and from your network. If you don’t have one, it’s not too late to install one on your router. You can usually find this option under the administration menu.
6. Update your antivirus software regularly
You may already have antivirus software on your computer, but what about your other wireless devices? Smartphones and tablets are just as susceptible to viruses as a computer is. You should consider updating all of these devices with the latest antivirus software to reduce the chance of a virus affecting them.
Keeping your network security up to date is a full-time job. You have to make it hard for others to gain access and protect yourself from the latest threats, but it’s worth it. By following these simple steps you can reduce the chances of being exploited by cybercriminals and help ensure data transferred over your wireless network is as safe as it can be.