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How To Secure Your Wi-Fi Network At Home

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

A home Wi-Fi network offers great convenience but it may also land you in trouble if you do not secure it properly. For instance, if your Wi-Fi network is used by hackers to commit cyber crimes or by terrorists to send threatening messages, you alone will have to bear the consequences of their actions. Considering the implications, it makes sense to learn how to secure your Wi-Fi network to keep pesky neighbors and criminals away. Here are some tips on securing a home Wi-Fi network:

Tip #1: Use Encryption

While configuring your router, you must enable encryption to scramble the data passing through the network. Most routers support some kind of encryption (usually WPA or WEP) and enabling it is very easy as well. Since the WPA encryption provides better security, you must use at least 128 bit WPA (or WPA2) encryption to secure your home network.

Tip #2: Change Access Usernames/Passwords

Most routers are shipped with some default settings (including usernames and passwords) that can be hijacked by hackers for their own use. While setting up your home network, you must change the default usernames and passwords since they are well-known to hackers and criminals. Use a strong password containing a long string of number and characters so that it cannot be compromised. Also, don’t forget to learn how to reset your router to factory settings in case you forget your password.

Tip #3: Use MAC Address Filtering

By enabling MAC address filtering on your router, you can prevent unknown devices from accessing your network. A MAC address is a nothing but a unique number assigned to every network card and by limiting the access to only known MAC addresses, you can cut down the security risks associated with a home Wi-Fi network significantly.

Tip #4: Change the SSID Settings

Most router manufacturers use the same network name (SSID) for all their routers so you need to change it to something unique for your home network. While knowing a network name alone won’t be sufficient to hack into your network, using the default SSID could encourage hackers to test other security aspects of it. Also, you need to disable SSID broadcasts so that your network becomes invisible to neighbors and hackers who are snooping around.

Tip #5: Disable Wireless Administration and Remote Login

By disabling remote login and wireless administration capabilities, you can prevent hackers from taking control of your home network from a different place. The remote administration feature is disabled by default but you still need to verify this to protect your network from security attacks.

Tip #6: Use Firewalls

Make sure to enable the firewall option on your router. Also, you need to ensure that all devices that are going to connect to your home network have their own security features (anti-virus and firewalls). This will ensure that your network security doesn’t get compromised due to viruses, malwares and other malicious programs.

Tip #7: Use Static IPs

Most people prefer to use dynamic IPs within their home network but you can strengthen the overall security of your network by using static IPs instead. By turning off DHCP and assigning a static IP to each of your device, you can prevent attacks that rely on obtaining a dynamic IP from the pool of IPs available within a network.

In addition to the above steps, you should also remember to turn-off your router whenever you are travelling or not planning to use the network for a long time. You can also prevent network leakage by positioning your router away from the windows and outer walls.

April 30, 2014

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