How to secure a Wifi network against hackers: With the wireless world in every corner of technology, the issue of security has often been raised. The same goes for wireless Internet networks with hackers and Wi-Fi intruders still looking for ways to access unsecured networks.
There are many reasons why you might want to protect your Wi-Fi network. A secure wireless network does not just mean lower bills, but faster Internet speeds. This tip contains some simple techniques that you can use to make sure your wireless network is as secure as possible.
Protect your wireless Internet network
1) Encrypt your Wi-Fi network: When you use a Wi-Fi network to access the Internet, every piece of data you send and receive on the network can easily be disclosed by anyone with the right set of tools.
This means that a hacker can not only see which websites you access, but also get the login details of your personal and business accounts.
Encryption basically involves scrambling the data that is transmitted and received by you using a wireless network. This means that even if a hacker intercepts your data transmission, he will not be able to exploit the information contained in it.
There are two encryption standards that you can use: Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wireless Protected Access (WPA). WEP is the old encryption standard and can now be bypassed in minutes. WPA is relatively newer, but still has security vulnerabilities. AirCrack and coWPAtty are two free tools that allow anyone to easily crack WEP and WPA encryption using the brute force technique. WPA2 is the latest standard and that’s what you need to use if you want the highest level of protection for your wireless network. The encryption keys used; change each time a device accesses to the network and making WPA more difficult to hack.
The encryption used by all devices in the network must be the same for the network to function properly. Your network will be as secure as its least the secure device. Make sure all the devices you use, support WPA2 encryption. Use a strong encryption key. Make sure it is longer than 10 characters and contains a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Do not use common words and tricks that people can guess about you as a password.
2) Replace default passwords on your router with strong passwords: The biggest mistake that most wireless internet users make is that they do not change default passwords on their routers. Hackers use public databases that contain default passwords and usernames of virtually all manufacturers. This allows them to change the security settings of your router according to their needs.
Using a strong password for your router ensures that hackers and disbelievers can not change your network’s security settings. To change the password for your router, access the administration settings on your router’s settings page. In addition, do not store passwords in browsers as they can be easily made visible.
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3) Change the default SSID: The SSID of your network or the identifier of the service set is the name of your wireless network. Usually, the SSID is the name of the router manufacturer as well as the model number of the router. Changing it to not display this information prevents you from providing additional information about your router to potential hackers.
4)Do not broadcast your SSID : Hiding the SSID prevents intruders and unsophisticated and inexperienced intruders from determining that your network exists. Hiding your SSID is relatively easy and the option to do so is usually under the basic wireless settings on your router’s settings page. However, it is important to note that some devices, including those running newer versions of Windows, will display all networks even if they can not identify its name. In addition, your network will always contain the SSID in data packets making unmasking ridiculously easy with tools like inSSIDer, Kismet and Commview for WiFi.
5) Use scary names to discourage Wi-Fi theft: If your wireless network has a name like C: \ virus.exe, most people who might otherwise access your network are not afraid to get their devices infected . You can use your creativity to find more dangerous names than the name of your wireless network.
6) See the list of connected devices: Almost every new router will have a page that displays the list of each device that is connected to the network. You should check this page at regular intervals to see that unknown users are not currently using your network. When you see an unknown device, you can be sure that someone has broken your network. You can try AirSnare, a free utility that scans your network for unexpected MAC addresses and also examines DHCP requests.
7) Disable Guest Networking: While most routers have disabled default guest networking, it is always beneficial to check that you have not accidentally enabled it. Guest networking allows others to access your network.
8) Enable MAC Address Based Filtering: Media Access Control or MAC address identifies each device connected to your network. The MAC address is an alphanumeric key separated by two points. By enabling MAC-based filtering, only devices with particular MAC addresses can access your network. You must enter the MAC address of each device that you want to allow to connect to your network on the settings page of your router. This prevents unknown devices from connecting to your network even if they know your password. To find the MAC address of your computer, open the command prompt and run “ipconfig / all” without quotation marks in Windows computers.
Although it can prevent inexperienced users from accessing your network, experienced hackers and advanced users can use a wireless network analyzer like Nmap, and then change the MAC address of their computer.
9) Keep your firmware up to date: The router vendors regularly publish firmware updates and post them on their websites. You should occasionally check the manufacturer’s website to see if a new firmware update has been released. New routers will automatically notify you when new firmware is available.
11) When not using your Internet, turn it off: This is explained. If you do not use your network, disabling it will save you from giving hackers more time to try to hack your wireless network. Although it is impractical to disable your network each time you do not use it, it is always advisable to do so for long periods of non-use.
If you follow all these techniques to secure a Wifi network, your Wi-Fi network will be much more protected and the pirates will have difficulty to penetrate there.