How to Improve Your Wireless Network Security

Wireless network security is the hot topic on everyone lips at the moment. Not only are the big business and corporations using wireless network setups, but the average home user has it as well. It has become the way that everyone would like to connect to the internet. And why wouldn’t you? A wireless network setup eliminates all of those cables and cords running from one computer to the next, although Gigabyte Ethernet is faster, wireless can make you mobile.

As most individuals and business sectors are connected to the Internet using wireless devices, unless you have wireless network security, you simply don’t know when your personal information will be compromised.

Therefore having wireless network security procedures in place has become an important aspect of everyone’s internet  experience.

Improve your Wireless Network Security

With the increasing number of cases regarding Wireless Network security breaches, there is need for improvement in awareness regarding security measures. Wireless network users simply need to know certain rules in order to control and prevent system penetration and bandwidth theft.

If you use two wireless routers then you will have to enable security for both routers. Also see who is using your WIFI, as you need to be in control of your internet connection.

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#1. Default Admin Password

Always change the password of your router as these are come with preset service identifiers. For example a D-link DI-524 router comes with a particular Ip address and a the same password. So if you are one of maybe thousands of people that have purchased this router, you have something in common. You have the same Ip Address and password for your particular router as everyone else does. If someone wanted to hack into your Wireless Network Security, it would be extremely easy. No guessing what the passwords are.

Follow these steps to change the password on your wireless modem router. Please note that every router is different so just look for similar settings.

  1. Ensure your hardware is connected properly.
  2. Open a web browser and in the address bar type in http://192.168.0.1 and press enter. Some routers are different so see how to find your router IP address.
  3. Enter the password to access the configuration page of your modem. The most common default password is admin , and press login.
  4. Click on Advanced Setup in the top left corner of the web page.
  5. Click on System in the menu on the left.
  6. Click on Password Settings and enter the current password
  7. Enter a new password and click Save Settings . The password for your wireless router has now been changed.

Common brands of routers and their factory Ip address and password.

RouterAddressUsernamePassword
3Comhttp://192.168.1.1adminadmin
D-Linkhttp://192.168.0.1admin
Linksyshttp://192.168.1.1adminadmin
Microsoft Broadbandhttp://192.168.2.1adminadmin
Netgearhttp://192.168.0.1adminpassword

Now you can see why this is the first step to Improve your wireless network security.

#2. Disable Remote Access

By default you can access your router homepage from any device connected to your network and also in some cases, access from remote computers. On most routers you can choose where you want to access the router from.

As we all know, different routers have different settings and options. what you need to look for in this case is something to do with “access control” or “remote access” . Then simply disable this option so you are not allowing remote access to your router.

To stop people that are on your network accessing the router, simply change the router password as stated above. They will get to the router homepage but not into the settings.

#3. Specify Exactly Who Can Access The Settings

In your router or modem, if you do not have a router, there are settings for user management. You can specify which users are in fact allowed to login to see the settings.

In the screenshot below you can see that admin is only allowed to access the modem. If you do this then you should definitely have a unique password set.

access to router modem

#4. Enable Encryption

This password is not the same as the admin password for a router. It is the password a person has to type in when they have found your network.

Follow the encryption procedure which is provided by your routing device because older routers have older security options.

Two most preferable encryption measures are WEP and WPA2; out of which the later is used most and most up to date option. The function of such technology is to encrypt traffic and scrambling it so that any unauthorized third party could not use it by throwing a spanner in order to procure sensitive details. WPA also has user authentication which WEP does not have.

See more details about different types of network security.

#5. Hiding the wireless SSID

A service set identifier (SSID ) is a name given to a wireless local area network. Another simple method of securing your network is to hide the network from unwanted users. So when people are looking for a network to connect to, yours does not show up as an option. This can be done by preventing the modem from transmitting your network name. (SSID).

Follow these steps to prevent your modem broadcasting your network name:

  1. Ensure your hardware is connected properly.
  2. Open a web browser and in the address bar type in The IP of your router and press enter.
  3. Enter the password to access the configuration page of your modem. The default password is admin , and press login.
  4. Click on Advanced Setup in the top left corner of the web page. For D-link simply press Advanced
  5. Click on Wireless in the menu on the left.
  6. Click on Channel and SSID
  7. Place a tick in the box to Disable SSID broadcast and then save.

All routers have slightly different menus, for example For D-link simply press the Advanced tab and you can disable the SSID there.

#6. Changing Your SSID

So you know how to hide your SSID but what about changing the name. Hackers know that modems come with default SSIDs and look for them. Even if the SSID isn’t being broadcast, if a hacker knows its name, they can hop on board. This procedure is usually done in the set-up process so you might need to go through your setup wizard to change the SSID name.

#7. Get Detailed with Mac Address Filtering

You can choose EXACTLY what computers and devices can access your internet even if they have the security key to enter. That will keep your neighbours from sharing your internet, unless of course the 12 years old kid is a pc whizz.

All devices have a unique MAC address, even your mobile phone and apple ipad.

You can find your Mac address on your computer by:

1. Opening a run box by pressing the winkey and the letter R on your keyboard.

2. Type in cmd. Then type in ipconfig/all.

3. Your mac address will be listed under the “physical address”.

On your router you can look for the Mac filtering settings and enter the mac address in there.

#8. Changing the Router IP Address

Well we all know that every router and modem has it’s default IP address that EVERYONE knows and this seems like a risk. You can change the IP address of your router or modem in the settings, usually under the network configuration settings section.

This is not always necessary when you have already got other security measures in place because changing this IP address can cause problems. for example you might need to edit your modem settings and network settings on your devices.

#9. Monitor Remote Access Points

Security protocols must be established in companies which run web interfaces or remote system access points. It would be wise to change their passwords frequently also. These remote access points usually get forgotten in the efforts to improve your wireless network security. Sometimes they are hidden from site.

One of the common problems with home networks is a lack of wireless network security.

#10. Avoid the use of unsecured wireless hotspots in public locations

In these places traps are set up frequently by malicious third parties. These are designed to easily gain access to your computer in order to secure your sensitive and personal details. It could be something as simple as names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers, but you never know, next it could be your bank details. Don’t get me wrong, they are not all bad, however it is a risk you take.

The other risk is taking your device out of the house and turning it into a mobile hotspot. There are risks involved with that too so please see the articles listed below for more information.

Using your Windows seven laptop as ad-hoc hot spot

Turn your mobile into a hotspot

#11. Use Wireless Security Software

No matter whether you are a corporation or an individual. This software uses automatic security key rotation for every three hours for encryption purposes. It also provides security to the router and also usually includes event logging. It will monitor and scrutinize for terminals that try to gain access through your wireless network security. For institutions and corporations with large wireless networks they should employ the use of advanced software systems such as Manage Engine’s Network Analyzer.

Resources:

http://www.globalpcconsultants.com

http://www.webopedia.com/WEP_WPA_wireless_security.asp

Conclusion

You have to take spend time implementing these wireless network security measures to safeguard your valuable information and ensure that your home wireless connection is safe. It is not worth the risk, and why make yourself and your personal data an easy target for hackers.

Get Software Protection on Your Computer!

There is no guarantee with any of this wireless network security and that is why we should always protect our computers as well. PC Matic will save you time, money and the aggravation of dealing with a PC that is infected with malware and operating at a fraction of its original speed.  At the moment I am using PC Matic to protect my computer from hidden security threats. This software will remove existing  viruses & malware and maximize internet connection speeds. Of course it does a whole lot more, too much to mention! You can get a free scan for your computer to see how it works before you buy.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Mitz,

    You really mentioned valuable points to increase the wireless security. I haven’t changed the default admin password, and I’m going to do it right now. I’ll also ensure the other safety measures which you mentioned in this article.

  2. Alan says

    To my customers I always recommend WPA 2 AES encryption, there is no reason to use any other method of encryption.
    You didn’t mention using a more secure wireless passphrase of at least 15 characters, no dictionary words. I find the easiest way to create a secure passphrase for your wireless network is first choose a short sentence e.g. Keep out of my networks. Then substitute numbers and special characters, so the above sentence becomes K33p0ut0fM1N3tw0rk$.
    My 2 cents!

    • says

      Wow, I think this is the most secure yet easy to remember passphrase. I don’t expect to have read this. That’s one genius idea, Alan. “K33p0ut0fM1N3tw0rk$” perfect!