In this age of multiple smart devices, a secure Wi-Fi connection is no longer a luxury, but the norm. As wireless signals cannot be contained within your home, your network must be well secured to prevent outsiders from using it.
The danger: If you have a download limit, freeloaders can cause you to pay extra charges. But even if you have an unlimited download plan, it is dangerous to leave your Wi-Fi network open for anyone to use. This can result in your network being used for illegal downloads or uploads, criminal activity, or might result in your identity being stolen.
Here are some tips from our Computer Zen team on how to protect your home wireless network:
- Change the default ID and password: Every wireless modem and router has a default public ID (Service Set ID or SSID), an admin user name and a default password. The default values are different for different models, but can easily be obtained by anyone. Change these immediately after setting up your network.
Select a long password with a combination of numbers, letters, capital and small letters. Avoid using names or common words for your password. Also avoid using words like ‘hack proof’ or ‘hacker beware’ as your network name as this gives extra motivation for hackers.
You can also hide your network by turning off your SSID broadcast. That way, only devices that type in the network name and password can use the network; it cannot be chosen from a list.
- Keep the signal strength just right: If you have a router that allows you to adjust the transmission power, use it so that the signal doesn’t travel too far outside. However, if you want the signal to reach every corner of your house, it has to be set at a high level.
- Control the devices that can access the network: You can use MAC address filtering to prevent unknown devices from accessing the network, for another layer of security. MAC address is a unique address that each device possesses. This method is not foolproof; password protection is definitely the better method.
- Enable firewalls and other security features: Newer models of modems and routers have built-in firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Do not turn off these features for convenience; these are very useful security features.
Additionally, you should use the strongest encryption method supported by your modem or router to protect your sensitive data.
If you need help setting up and securing your Wi-Fi network, our team at Computer Zen could be of help. Call us on 1300 266 936