Wireless Internet network is becoming very popular as people are purchasing laptops. Laptops have made life easier as one can move around the house with a 'PC in their lap'.
However, bringing home a wireless internet connection invites the problems of Internet security, if one does not take precautions. This is because there are many uninvited guests who are waiting to gain access to your computer network and upload as well as download unethical material.
How to Secure a Wireless Internet Connection?
When you roll over your cursor to the small computer icons on your desktop at the bottom right, you will find your user name of your wireless broadband. It may even pop up something like 'Default (Unsecured)' or something similar. Unsecured. This is one word that should make your antennas turn on alert mode.
Your unsecured wireless internet connection is like an unsecured bank inviting bandits to carry put a day light robbery without fear. Any hacker can steal your personal information, password, upload malicious software as well as download illegal material from your wireless network.
However, the wise ones will choose the best way to secure a wireless network and have a good night's sleep. The following instructions will help you with the best way to secure wireless network. Just follow the given steps.
Change the Defaults and Personalize Your User Name
The first step is changing the defaults. When you bring home a wi-fi router, the login provided by the manufacturers are usually the same for everyone purchasing the same router model. Many users are not aware of it, due to which, hackers are able to identify the default user names and passwords and gain access to your network.
Encrypt Your Wireless Network Signals
You need to encrypt your wireless network so that no hacker can easily eavesdrop over your Internet activity. So, how to secure your network using encryption? The old encryption option WEP (wired equivalent privacy) is so easy to hack that it can be compromised within 30 seconds! However, users are still stuck with this easy to hack encryption protection.
A smart user will opt for the WPA2 encryption protection that is comparatively secure. All a Windows XP user needs to do is download and install Microsoft's WPA2 hotfix. One will also need to update their wireless card driver. Then log in to the router administration page through the web browser. Sign into your account and go to the security page.
Here, you need to select 'WPA2 Personal' and the algorithm 'TKIP+AES'. Lastly, enter the password into the field that says 'Shared Key' and save the changes you made.
Change the Service Set Identifier
As we still ponder on the question, how do I secure my network, we come to a step that many users are not aware of. Your router comes with a default system ID, called the Service Set Identifier (SSID) or maybe Extended Service Set Identifier (ESSID). In simple language, it is the name of your wireless Internet connection.
Manufactures provide a default SSID to their router sets, that is mostly overlooked by users. However, as you must have understood, default invites trouble! A hacker will be able to find the default and tap into your Internet access. The solution for this is changing the name of your SSID.
Again, do not make the same mistake of choosing an obvious SSID name like your name, your kids name, or your house name. Use an ID that is unique yet discrete and easy for you as well as other members of your family to identify.
Filter Using MAC Address
MAC address has nothing do to with Mac OS. It is a unique code or 'physical address' provided to the user to identify their wireless Internet access. Your router will record all the addresses of devices that will try to get access to your connection. This will help you keep a tab if someone or something keeps trying to get into your connection.
You will get a quick view of who is trying to get access to your network. You can add the MAC addresses of your home network connections so that the device only allows them to gain access and no one else. However, it maybe able to keep off amateurs but prowling experts can program fake MAC addresses and gain access.
Use of Firewall
Routers have built-in firewall protection, so make sure it is turned on. This will help blocking anonymous requests to gain access. This will also help hide your Internet presence giving you better protection. If you can't be seen, it is difficult to hack you. Keep your computer security and your firewall up-to-date with the latest software updates.
The best way to secure the wireless network is to avoid broadcasting connection. Read your router manual for instructions and disable the broadcasting option for your router. Turn off your device when not in use. This is an extra network security measure to protect your Internet connection and a good idea to save precious electricity.