If you have set up a wireless router at home or work, you are potentially leaving yourself open to intrusion, possibly by some just leeching from your internet supply and possibly even from others with more sinister intent. So follow our guide to securitising your wireless hotspot!
Enable WEP or WPA
Make sure you enable some kind of encryption technology on your router. This will usually involve generating a WEP key on the router and then entering it on any devices that you want to connect with. WPA is better than WEP, but whilst your router might support it, your wireless adaptor might not so make sure you check compatibility.
Cloak Your SSID
If your access point or router has an option not to broadcast your SSID, make sure this is enabled. No point advertising your presence to the neighbourhood! Whilst this is worth doing, a determined intruder can quite easily decloak a hidden SSID, so make sure you also...
Rename Your Access Point SSID
Lots of times the factory settings on a wireless router or access point is that the SSID will be the make and model. That's really dumb because the knowing the make and model gives someoen a real headstart in attempting your default admin username and password for the access control panel. It's up to you what SSID you use, but I suggest something like "LocalPolice" which should deter the faint hearts.
Change Your Default Password
Make sure you don't leave the default password and username for the access point as the standard settings. Lots of websites publish lists of the default passwords so it won't take someone more than a few guesses to get in if you don't change it.
Enable MAC Address Filtering
Each network adaptor has a MAC address which is a unique identifier. By enabling filtering, only network adaptors registered with your Access Point can connect.
Turn Off The Access Point When You're Not Using It
Determined hackers can break WEP keys by collecting enough data being transmitted and analysing certain packets. They need data to capture and time. Make their job more difficult by turning off the wireless part of your router or access point when you're not using it. Why don't manufacturers put a button on the case to turn it off?
Follow these tips to make your wireless network more secure!