With the increase in the use of mobile devices—laptops, smartphones, tablets—it is becoming the norm for companies to use a wireless (Wi-Fi) network to access the Internet. A Wi-Fi network comes included with a router that is connected to a broadband Internet service by way of a modem. While routers come with their own security features, they can still be hacked into. Once someone unethical has gotten inside the router, they can use the bandwidth as well as gain access to the computers and devices on the network. Here we offer 5 tips on how to ensure you have a secure Wi-Fi network.
- Turn on the Firewall for Secure Wi-Fi
Firewalls are designed to shield computers from harmful invasions that are either software-based or hardware-based. Wireless routers usually include built-in firewalls, but they are sometimes shipped with the firewall turned off. Make sure to look and see if the wireless router’s firewall has been turned on.
- Turn on WPA2 Encryption
Using the encryption setting on your wireless router can greatly increase your chance of having a secure Wi-Fi network. If your Wi-Fi was set up a few years ago and you haven’t made any changes to the settings, there is a strong chance you’re using an outdated version of the encryption and it can easily be hacked into.The most effective standard encryption for routers is “WPA2”. There is also “WEP”, but WPA2 is considered to be the best. If it is not already set, change your network security settings to WPA2.
- Redo Default Passwords
The majority of wireless routers come with passwords preset for managing its settings. Hackers can become familiar with the common default passwords, making it easy to get into your network. For more secure Wi-Fi, change the router’s password once it is installed. The best bet is to use a combination of numbers, symbols and letters.
- Change the Network’s Default Name
An SSID (service set identifier) is the name of the network. When a device with a wireless connection searches and shows the nearby wireless networks, it lists all networks that publicly display their SSID. Most routers come with a default SSID, which is usually the company’s name. For more secure Wi-Fi, change the network’s SSID, but it is not recommended that you use personal information like the names of family members.
- Turn Off Network Name Broadcasting
Wireless routers often broadcast the SSID to the general public. This can be a helpful feature in businesses, hotels, restaurants, libraries or any other public place that wants to offer Wi-Fi to their customers. For a private network, this feature is not necessary and it is recommended that it be turned off, especially if you are using a network at home or just for employees of your company. One last note, never assume public wireless networks are secure.
Contact us if you have any questions about securing your wireless network!