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Friday, 24 May 2013

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Setting up and Securing your WiFi Networks

WiFi networks are so commonplace these days that most households have at least one network set up. Gone are the days when it required a lot of tech know how to set up such a network, because newer routers are basically plug and play and you hardly need to do anything. But the problem here is that when they’re just plugged in, not only you can access the internet, pretty much anyone else can. This not only might cause you to cross your bandwidth limit, but also opens up your devices to hacker access. Securing your wireless networks prevents all of this so you can have peace of mind. Fortunately it’s not a very difficult task and pretty much anyone can follow the tips and guidelines here.

Securing Your Wireless Network

When your router is first set up, the network name or SSID is usually named after the manufacturer like “linksys”. Make sure to go into router settings via the default IP address, through any web browser like Chrome or Firefox which is usually either 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 (more likely the later) and change the SSID to something other than the default name, whatever you like. While this doesn’t exactly protect your network, it makes it easier to be identified and doesn’t give the impression that the person who set it up is a novice.
  •  Add encryption and a network pass key 

The most common way to secure your wireless network is by setting up a network pass key. This allows only people who know the password to use the network. But that’s just half of the work done. Apart from the network pass key, there’s also something called network encryption of which there are 3 types, WEP, WPA and WPA2. The former two protocols are less secure and more likely to be bypassed, so make sure to set the encryption to WPA2. Unless you have devices using the WiFi network older than 2006 or so, you shouldn’t have problems connecting.
Always make sure that the password that you select for your wireless network is long and random mainly consisting of a combination of alphabets, numerals and figures, so that it can’t be cracked/hacked by any kind of hacker. And to test how strong is your password you can use CloudCracker service.

In this service you will be asked some data and that you need to feed in (not the password), and then it will try identifying your password (it’s done in the same way the hacker tries to find out your password), if it fails to find your password then you are ready to use your wireless network and if it finds out your password then you have no other choice left other than changing your password.

  •  Change your router’s default password

By default, all router settings, which include the all important network pass key, encryption and the like are easily accessible. So even if you’ve set up a password for the wireless network, it can be changed since the router username is something generic like “admin”. There is an online database with the default usernames and passwords for routers from all manufacturers, so it shouldn’t be too difficult figuring out what it is. Make sure to change this password so that only you can change important router settings.
  • Update your router firmwareDisable remote access and administering 

When we’re talking about security it’s not the first thing that comes to mind, but updating your router’s firmware can also secure the wireless network. These updates usually fix bugs and patch security vulnerabilities so keep the firmware up to date. It doesn’t hurt that there might be performance improvements as well.
  • Separate network for guests

If you are indulged in a business which allows visitors to use your Wi-Fi then it is sensible that you offer a guest network. By doing this the visitors will be able to connect to the internet without getting access to your company’s internal network. This will effectively help you in protecting your company’s information and also from any kind of malware and virus affecting your network or system.
Hide your network name
Whenever you get connected with a wireless network first and the foremost thing you need to do is change its settings, as according to the default setting wireless network’s name is published to make it easy to find and connect. But Service set identifier (SSID) can also be set to “Hidden” so that no one except you will be allowed to view the name of your wireless network. Hence it Helps to Protect Wi-Fi Network.

  • Use MAC address filtering 

 Finally, by setting up MAC address filtering, you can make sure that only known devices connect to your wireless network, thus making it more secure. Every device has an unique ID called a MAC address. Routers have the option to let only certain MAC addresses to connect, so that’s an added layer of protection. It’s possible to clone MAC addresses as well, nonetheless this is a very good way to protect your wireless network.

With the help of these easy tips you can easily Protect Wi-Fi network From Hackers. Make sure that your firewall is turned on and you can also use antivirus and anti-spyware software from Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender on which you can totally trust. 
Feel free to ask any questions related to the same & if you have anything to add then do leave a comment.

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