Wireless network or WiFi, the moment you hear these words you realize how convenient your life has become. Wireless Internet Connection has made it easy for anyone to use the Internet at any device ranging from Laptops, Smartphones, and Tablets, etc. from anywhere without managing tons of cable bundles.
One important thing to consider here that wireless network does not end at your home or office’s wall, it is possible that the signals of your wireless network are extended to other neighboring homes or offices.
Today we are going to discuss why you should secure wireless network that you use at home, home office or office.
Nowadays the application of a Wifi connection is not limited just to browsing the internet using any device, but you can attach a lot of other devices as per your convenience, for instance, you can take printout while sitting in a different room or floor of the house altogether.
I was browsing through some YouTube videos the other day and found out that many people do not secure wireless networks, some don’t even know about it and many just ignore it.
Wireless network sure makes our life easy but while using wifi we also have to ensure that the home network that we are using is also secure. Because if we do not secure a wireless network connection, then there are consequences as well.
For example, our neighbors can use our internet connection and consume our bandwidth or make our internet connection slow. If they are a little bit tech-savvy then sure can track out online activities as well. Even worse, cybercriminals can use your internet connection to download/upload illegal materials leaving you prone to legal action.
So it was not rocket science to understand how many risks are involved if you do not have a secure wireless network, now in this part of the article we are going to discuss the ways you can secure wireless network.
1. Encrypt Your Wireless Network
This is the first and one of the most important steps towards securing a wireless network. Encryption of the wireless network simply means that you should not just leave your network without any password for anyone to connect.
There are usually three kinds of security WEP, WPA, WPA2. WEP is generally the default password that comes printed on the router and is the easiest to break. Hence we do not suggest that you leave the WEP as the default password to connect to your network.
Though WPA2 is more secure, these days WPA is compatible with more client devices. We suggest that you keep a strong password which is at least 8 characters long. Usually, an alphanumeric password is preferable, and if your router settings allow a space, it is even better because these passwords are difficult to guess.
I suggest “Do Not” use your phone number or your pet’s name as your wireless network’s password because since most people use them, these are very easy to guess.
Best Practice: Change your password regularly.!
2. Change Router’s Default Settings
Every router comes with a lot of important default settings. Moreover, since the manufacturer sets these settings, these are available to everyone. Keeping these settings sure makes the setup process easy but at the same time vulnerable to a breach.
If you are serious to secure wireless network, you need to consider changing these default settings.
The 3 most important default settings that you should consider changing are:
A. The default IP address to access the router’s setting page
B. the login password to router’s interface and
C. Changing the default network name also known as the SSID.
Make sure that once you change these settings, you also remember them because in the future to access your router’s settings you have to use both these new credentials. As the wireless network password, these should be difficult to guess too.
3. Disable Remote Access
Usually, routers allow you to access their settings/interface only from a connected device. However, some of them allow access even from remote systems.
We highly recommend you to keep these settings disabled all the time because cybercriminals can use this to access your router’s setting without even connecting a device.
To make this change, access the web interface and search for “Remote access” or “Remote Administration.“
4. Keep The Router’s Firmware Up To Date
Updating the Router’s firmware is a good move towards a secure wireless network. Firmware updates usually carry patches for known bug fixes and security updates.
Router’s firmware, like every other software, contains flaws and can be exploited by cybercriminals and hackers. Most of the time routers do not have an auto-update feature, so you have to update the firmware manually.
Sometimes updating the firmware can cause a router reset so in that case we recommend you take a backup of all your settings beforehand.
5. Enable Router Firewall
Many routers come with a firewall that can be enabled from the router’s settings. If it is available, we suggest you enable this feature, as it shall help add a layer of security.
6. Do Not Place Router Close To Windows
As we all know that the WiFi signals will not stay inside your home/office walls, we recommend you to Place the wireless router as close as possible to the center of your house.
The first benefit is that you will have the same access to the Internet at every part of your house. The second benefit is that the wireless signals will not travel too far from your house, where cybercriminals can easily intercept it.
For these reasons, we recommend not to place your wireless router close to a window, because there is nothing to obstruct the signal going outside your house.
The wireless network is cool, and we cannot imagine a life without it. We use internet day in day out but keep your device connected to some wire while using it is unimaginable. With all the cool features or qualities there is a dark side to it too. We should take all the possible measures to secure wireless networks because leaving it unprotected may have consequences.
These steps may help secure wireless network, but there may be other measures that one can take to protect wireless networks. We welcome all the suggestions, corrections or additions that you may have about the articles.