Securing Your WiFi - PC SEEKERS

Securing Your WiFi

In 21st Century Internet has become a requirement and with the whole Pandemic around the globe it has more obviously become a necessity with most people having to WFH (Work From Home) and students requiring to take online classes. With this increase in need to having internet friends and families are looking for new WiFi connections considering Cellular Data is a costly investment compared to WiFi. This guide is intended to help you secure your new or already existing WiFi routers and safe guard your data from hackers.

Wireless networks are extremely convenient to connect to the internet just by a tap on your device without requiring a cord but it is also not as safe as wired connection as the wireless connection can extend more than 300 feet from the router depending on the capabilities of the router.

Wireless networks are not as safe because:
  • Anyone connected to your network with ill intention can have access to your data like sensitive details and passwords that might be linked to your bank accounts details like online banking passwords, credit card numbers, etc.
  • If someone commits an online crime then the activity can be traced back to your network and router.
With all of that, here's how you can secure your router and your WiFi connection and limit access to unknown intruders.

Make A Complicated Router Password:

Once you enter the password to your router on any device, the device will be able to access the internet through your router indefinitely. When people come over to your home and they wish to connect to the internet and the password to your router its hard to say no, its better you enter the password yourself instead of saying it our loud to them, but if they still insist, make the password so complicated that they cannot remember and reveal it to others. Ideally the password should contain 12 to 20 characters and it also must contain letters, numbers and symbols.

Keep Changing Your WiFi Password Frequently:

There is no hard and fast rule on how often you should change your WiFi password but it is better if you keep changing it more often than not. Remember your passwords.

Change Default Admin Login Credentials:

Once your router is connected to the internet, you can access your router settings through a web-based setup page. The manufacturer of the router will provide you with a URL or an IP address with a login ID and password to access the settings or configuration page of the browser.

Once you land on this page the first thing you should do is change the default login ID and password to a unique one which contains letters, numbers and symbols.

Leaving the login information to default can allow hackers to login to the router's settings or configurations page just by entering the default login details.

Use Encryption:

A number of freely available hacker tools can decrypt weak WiFi encryption allowing them to gain access to intercept, see or modify your online activity. There are 3 types of WiFi encryption that are used so only your device and the router can read the contents of transmission.
  1. WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is an older and less secure form of encryption, but it is always better than no encryption. If you have an old router that has only WEP encryption then we advice you to turn it on. 128-bit WEP is better than 64-bit WEP.
  2. WPA (WiFi Protected Access) is the more secure and newer compared to WEP and is available on more current devices.
  3. WPA2 (WiFi Protected Access 2) is the newest form of encryption and is the most secure of the three. This is the encryption that is to be used in case your router has it, which most modern routers do. There is a more strengthened version of this encryption called WPA2 AES.

Change The Default Name Of The Network:

The SSID (Service Set Identifier) is the name of your network. The manufacturer sets a default identifier just like the default admin login details. While in the router's settings or configuration page look for 'SSID' and change it to a different unique name so that the hacker won't be able to identify which manufacturer's router is being used.

Disable Broadcasting:

Wireless networks or routers broadcast their name or SSID to all the devices that are in its range, this feature is helpful for Hotels and Business with Public WiFi networks. Private networks don't need this feature and when you disable broadcasting, if anybody wants to connect to your network must enter both the SSID and the WiFi password to gain access to the internet via the router.

You should find the option to disable broadcasting on the same page where you configured the SSID.

Keep Your Router's Software/Firmware Up To Date:

Just as you frequently change the WiFi password you should also frequently check for any software or firmware updates to your browser.

Turn On The Firewall:

Chances are your router has a firewall built in but isn't turned on. You should turn it on.

Enable Mac Filtering:

Every device has a MAC (Media Access Control) address, you can limit access to your network by only allowing specific computers to connect to it.

While in the settings or configuration page of your browser look for wireless settings and look for MAC filter. Now enter the MAC addresses of the devices that are allowed on the network and save / enable or turn it on.

Disable Remote Administration / Management:

Most WLAN routers have the ability to be remotely administered or managed via the internet. This means that you can access the settings or configuration page of your router from some other place. Unfortunately this means if you can do that everybody else can do that too.

Use VPN to access the internet:

A Virtual Private Network, or a VPN, is a group of computers or devices or networks working together over the internet. You can use trusted VPN services to connect to another server, this VPN encrypts all of your traffic from and to your computer all the way to the remote server. That means even if the encryption of your router is stripped off, the VPN encryption will still make the data unreadable to the hackers.

We hope this guide helped you make your WiFi network more secure.

Note: Our articles are intended to provide educational information for you. If you take all the above mentioned measures and still get hacked by an intruder or forget your passwords, we at PC Seekers take no responsibility and won't be able to help you in any way.

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