Wireless Configuration

Effective Wireless Security

Setting up a wireless network is a piece of cake. No holes have to be drilled and no cable has to be pulled; the wireless access point has to be plugged in, the wireless connection manager does the required set up and people can go online and surf the web as long as they please. Unfortunately, everyone who is in the broadcast range of the wireless network can also take advantage of the same services as you, without having to pay for it.

Every individual and business has information that has to be kept away from the prying eyes of others. For individuals, this can involve their personal details, their bank account information, and credit card information. For a business, this refers to the accounting books, source code and their trading secrets. If all this data is stored on a wireless network, it can easily go into nefarious hands. Therefore, locking down access is imperative for both home and business networks. The wireless network can become less susceptible to hackers and other people with good and effective wireless security. In this manner, people will find it extremely difficult and almost impossible to connect to one’s network.

Some simple measures can be taken for ensuring that the wireless network is secure and safe. They include:

  1. First and foremost, when people log in for the first time, they should change the username and password of their network. Everyone who purchases the same model router is given the same default username and password. Therefore, this is the first line of defense that can be used by people as most people do not bother changing their default passwords and any amateur hacker can take advantage of it.
  2. The WEP encryption standard of Wi-Fi has gotten quite old now and people are using the more secure WPA2 standard. The wireless card driver, along with the software, might have to be updated for this very reason. After the update, people have to log onto the administration page of the router and change the security settings.
  3. People should only give permission to a limited number of devices for accessing their wireless network. A MAC address is given to every device that accesses the wireless network. These addresses enable people to check who is accessing their network and also to restrict devices from doing so.
  4. People can also disable the SSID broadcast. By doing so, one can ensure that no one is aware of the existence of wireless network. The router manual indicates the steps that have to be performed for this purpose.
  5. The built-in firewall of the router should also be used by people. Another layer of security can be added to the network in this manner and will keep hackers at bay.
  6. The position of the router should be set in such a way that the signals do not reach outside the access area. Therefore, centrally placing the router is recommended.
  7. When not in use for extended durations, the network should be turned off.