Three Simple Ways to Keep Hackers off Your Wi-Fi

Oct 3, 2013

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Tyler Carter

Secure Wireless Network

Wi-Fi is an amazing technology that has made the use of the Internet easier for personal and public use. This wireless internet access can come with a price though, and that price is security. When your Wi-Fi network can be accessed by unauthorized people you open yourself up not only to people stealing your bandwidth, but the potential for hackers to steal valuable information from your devices. Keep your information safe with these three tips.

1. Create a Strong Password to Protect Your Network

It always surprises me when I find an open personal network when I am looking for an Iternet signal. Whether it is because you think it is easiest to keep your personal Wi-Fi network open or you just do not have the knowhow to protect it, you could be in for a world of trouble. Your very first line of defense when it comes to your Wi-Fi security has to be a solid password. If you are unsure how to set one up, you can easily look up how to do it online or in the owner’s manual of your wireless router.

2. Change Your Network’s SSID Name

Too many times I see personal wireless networks with a default name like “Linksys” or “D-Link.” Keeping your routers default name is like shouting at hackers to jump on to your network. The most obvious reason that this is a problem is because when your router has a default name, it is very possible that you kept the router’s default password as well. These default passwords can be easily found online. The second reason this is a problem is because you are showing everyone exactly what kind of router you have. This can also lead to some easy hacking. Your SSID is the name that shows up for your network when a Wi-Fi enabled device is in range. By changing your SSID to something unique and personal you are adding a line of defense to your network. Just like changing the password, you can find out how to change the name of your network online or in the user’s manual.

3. MAC Address Filtering

The third line of defense is a little more complex but it adds at least 10x more protection to your Wi-Fi network if you can do it. Every device with Internet capabilities has what is called a MAC Address. This unique set of letters and numbers can be used in your routers firmware for a high level of security. Most routers will have the capability to create MAC address filters. With this method you enter into your router’s settings a list of allowed MAC addresses for your network. This will block out all devices that do not have a MAC address matching ones on your router’s list. Once again, setting this up will be different from router to router, so consult your owner’s manual or look up how to do it online.

What ways to you use to protect your personal network from bandwidth snatchers and hackers?

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