A wireless network, like the novel innovations of this time, enhance convenience. You and your family can access the internet easily from every corner of the home without cluttering the entire place with cables. Such conveniences, however, can also be your Achilles heel. Take your router, for instance; it may be the gateway into your privacy. Left unguarded, it can provide a window into private information that in the hands of a hacker, can be detrimental. So, how do you ensure it is secure?
Securing your Wi-Fi Router is an elaborate 7-step process that is essential for these three reasons. First, an unguarded domestic wireless network can spike your monthly internet bill. Second, if many unauthorized devices log into the network, then be sure the internet access speed will decrease significantly. Last, an unsecured network is a security hazard. As noted above, your network can provide a window to your devices and the sensitive documents and information you have in there.
Securing Your Wi-Fi Router
Making the Wi-Fi network secure, the router included, is not a complicated affair. The seven steps that you should implement are:
1. Open the Settings Page of the Router
The first step should probably be renamed to “now your router.” Knowing your router or accessing the settings page involves typing the device’s IP address into your web browser coupled with its username or service set identifier, also known by the acronym (SSID).
The process highlighted above may be different for each router. To be on the safe side, as such, requires that you refer to the user manual that came with your router.
2. Choose and Institute a Unique, Tamper-Proof password for the Router
Once you gain access to the router, securing the network should be your first priority. To do so, start by configuring the password from the default status to a custom password that is strong enough to fend off intrusion.
A strong password prevents intruders from accessing your network. Besides, it allows you to keep all the security settings that you prefer. To change the password, navigate to the administrator’s settings page and proceed accordingly.
3. Change the Network’s Default SSID
Your wireless network’s name (SSID) is a default. In some instances, such as in Linksys devices, the brand name also serves as the default SSID. This fact underscores the need to change the SSID as soon as you gain command of your wireless network.
Ensure the network name you choose is unique. The reason for doing so has nothing to do with security, rather, it helps other users know which networks they are connecting to. Besides, if there are two or more users in an apartment that all own Linksys devices, then the situation can get very confusing.
To get to the SSID setting, navigate to the basic settings.
Resetting the SSID will not make your router any safer. However, it makes it obvious for everyone to know the network they log in to.
Note: it is imprudent to use your name, any personal information, or your home address as the SSID. The reasons here are as obvious as the grounds why you should always use the best Bitcoin Mixer or why tumbling Bitcoins heightens the safety and security of your cryptocurrency wealth.
Also, note that hackers and phishers often use scanning tools such as inSSIDer and Kismet to identify the routers available in the area. The tools work regardless of whether your device is broadcasting your SSID or not. The choice of your password, as such, should be unique and as earlier mentioned, foolproof.
You realize by now that altering identifiers from their default setting is a common safety denominator in the online realm. If you want your cryptocurrency transactions to be safe, use a fresh address for every transaction. Or, use crypto mixers that give the best results when tumbling Bitcoins.
4. Encrypt Your Network
You can only effectively keep computers in your locality from logging into your network if you encrypt its wireless signals.
Luckily, several encryption methods such as WEP, WPA, and WPA2 are all available for domestic internet users. Of these three, WEP works with most networks. However, it comes with the disadvantage of simplicity; it is easily hackable.
WPA2 is compatible with only a few hardware but is the most secure.
5. Filter All Media Access Control (MAC) Addresses
Each Wi-Fi-enabled device, be it a laptop, smartphone or PC, has a unique MAC address. If you want complete privacy, add the specific MAC addresses of the various devices you want to connect to your network. Doing so allows you to keep off any other device that should not access your network.
A MAC address is hard-coded into the router, as such, an address only lets the specified device into the network. Note that MAC addresses can be spoofed. However, the attacker must have deciphered the MAC address of at least one computer connected to your network before he or she can attempt successful spoofing.
6. Reduce the Range of the Signal
If you stay in a cramped up place like a studio apartment, there is not much use having a router with a high range. So, consider reducing the range of the signal. You can achieve this by changing the mode, or switching wireless channels. Alternatively, you can place the device under the bed, wrap a foil around its antenna, or put it inside a shoe.
7. Upgrade the Router’s Firmware
Router operations are aided by firmware. To be in top shape, the said firmware must be current. You can find and upgrade your router’s firmware by checking the latest version on the router’s dashboard.
Encrypting your router’s signal, filtering the MAC addresses you feed it and using a complex password probably are the leading steps to securing your Wi-Fi network. However, augmenting these steps with the other three highlighted in the narrative above will help you run a tight ship. Securing your router is akin to using cryptocurrencies best practices; tumbling Bitcoins, insisting on only the best Bitcoin mixer, and using new addresses whenever you are transacting. While these measures will keep your coins safe, securing your router will keep your internet bills in check, ensure you have optimum speed and that your information is guarded.