Wireless networks are the latest rage, and in the right circumstances, they
can be very convenient. But they are not inherently as secure as wired
networks, and if you are not careful, you can be practically inviting hackers or neighbors to
log in. We run into unsecured wireless networks all the time and can easily
connect, surf the Internet, look at disks and files, etc. without the owner
there are four simple steps you can take which will greatly improve the
security of your wireless network. If you take these four steps, you will
keep out all but the most determined intruders.
1. Rename your wireless network! All
wireless networks have a network name, called the SSID. Most makers of wireless routers use their company name as
the default, such as Linksys or Netgear. Hackers know these names and
sometimes go trolling for them, so rename your network to something harder
to guess. And donít just use your last name!
2. Turn off the broadcast! Most
wireless routers are set up to broadcast their network name to any computer
in range. Thatís fine for Starbucks, but not very secure for you. If you
turn off the broadcast, then a hacker has to guess your network name. Which hopefully youíve made hard for
him. See #1.
3. Change the password of your router.
Hackers know the default address, login and password of all routers out of
the box. If you change the password, you make it harder for someone to get
in and change your settings.
4. Get MAC to help! Every computer has
a unique hard-coded address called the MAC address (this has nothing to do
with Apple Macs). You can set your router to connect only to the MAC
addresses of your computers, and
reject all others. Since MAC addresses are hard to guess and hard to fake,
this is a pretty strong security measure.
is encryption, and you
definitely need that if you have really private information like financial
data or medical data. But for most people with ordinary data, if you take
the four steps listed above, you may not need encryption.
hackers are like opportunistic burglars who just try doorknobs. If you make
it just a little harder to break in, they may go looking for easier targets
donít know how to make these changes to your wireless network, or if you
canít face logging into your router to make changes, call SimpliTek and we will help
donít, your network is an open book, and maybe somebody is reading it right now!