Wireless network is a set of devices with all the personal computers in that area and can access the internet connection simultaneously. They make use of radio waves and there are no use of cables. Wireless Network is usually called as WIFI or Wireless FIdelity. These Wireless Networks provide high speed internet a home and in other public locations like coffee shops, etc usually called Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs).
It is very important to secure you Wireless Network. Here are some of the handy Wireless Network Security tips.
1. Change the network name or SSID
Make sure to change the default network name or SSID(Service Set Identifier). Do not change it to something personal like house addresses or other phone number or your pets name.
2. Disable WIFI when not in use
When WIFI is not being used turn off the WIFI adapter and disable it. Public hotspots might not be safe and are usually prone to security breaches. The data is usually not encrypted and your passwords and other information can be seen by the hackers. Your laptop might get connected to unreliable hotspot.
3. Keep your Firewall activated
A firewall prevents users who are not authorized to gain access to your machine though the network. Windows Operating System comes with a Firewall so make sure to enable it. It acts as the barrier and sometime blocks the incoming information. Nowadays many antivirus software have their own built in firewall.
4. Do not broadcast SSID
Most of the Wireless Networks broadcast the name of the network or SSID. This might be convenient as you will be able to locate the available networks within the range. But turning it off will make it invisible to others. This might not provide real security but can certainly be a hurdle for the hackers. However, if you want to broadcast for your own convenience then make sure you take care of the other security measures.
5. MAC Filtering
All the machines on a Wireless Network have a MAC (Media Access Control) address which is a unique identification number for every hardware. One should enable MAC filtering so that the access points on the Wireless Network will only communicate with the devices specified.
6. Encryption should be enabled
There are security protocols like WEP, WPA and WPA2. The most secure protocol is WPA2 which is the latest. WPA and WEP have been cracked by the unethical hackers. While setting the security encryption method for router setup check “WPA2 Personal” and “TKIP+AES” as the algorithm. The password for the encryption key should be strong like other passwords and mostly a combination of numbers and alphabets. The word length can be up to 63 characters and the minimum word length is 8 characters.
7. Up-to-date antivirus software
Lastly, a compulsory and preventive measure is to keep your anti virus software updated and also install an anti-spyware program.
8. Router Positioning
Configure the ranges and protect the signal leakage on Wireless Networks so that the access points are restricted and not available everywhere.
Some of the other Wireless Network Security tips are
– Static IP addresses to be assigned
– One can use hidden SSID
– Rotate WEP keys
– Do not enable remote administration
– Default admin password to be changed to a strong and a unique one
– Use ‘Https’ instead of ‘Http’ when accessing personal information and email messages. It is a strong encryption technique.