Technology is becoming an essential part of people’s lives, helping to facilitate their day-to-day activities. It has also become the arena for many malicious actors trying to inflict damage to their victims. This article will look at steps that a tech savvy person can take to improve and protect their wifi security.
At the end of the article we will also provide a basic cheat-sheet for readers to increase their cyber security.
Change Administrative Login [Critical] – Every Wi-Fi system comes with a default login credential to facilitate installation. This information is often available on the internet, which increases the risk of someone infiltrating the Wi-Fi system.
Strengthen Password Protection [Critical] – Change the password of everything related to your Wi-Fi system to something that can be remembered, while at the same time being unique and hard to decipher. Make use of symbols, numbers and letters and a minimum of 12+ characters (e.g. 1Th()rp1N531)
Change SSID Name [Critical] – SSID is the name in which users will be able to identify your Wi-Fi. In most cases, factories will provide a default SSID that can be easily traced back to them, increasing the risk that your system will be infiltrated. To decrease that risk, Wi-Fi administrators are encouraged to change SSID name. Some will prefer to have a business related name while others prefer funny name (Refer to this website for ideas)
Hide SSID Name [Recommended] – Most routers will have the option to hide the SSID name, this will ensure that a limited number of passersby will be able to see the network through normal mens. Approved users of the network will need to have the accurate SSID name and password to be able to enter the network. A persistent actor can still find your Wi-Fi with little to no effort, so do not consider this as a ‘safe’ solution on its own.
Wi-Fi Encryption [Critical] – The best encryption most routers have to offer is a combination of WPA2 and AES, so always chose them. This will ensure that the communication moved within the wireless network is less prone to infiltration/leak. In the upcoming years, WPA3 will likely become mainstream, so if you see that option, go with it instead of WPA2.
Activate Wi-Fi Firewall [Critical] – Wi-Fi Firewall serves as a layer of protection, telling the system whether a set of incoming data is in a blacklist that should be blocked or not. Every Wi-Fi system should have their firewall activated to increase the protection of the system and its users.
Wi-Fi System Update [Critical] – From time to time, router manufacturers will have updates that serve to improve its service or security patches. Some will automatically update, while others require the owner of the Wi-Fi system (router) to create monthly cadence to check whether there is an update via the manufactory’s website or the system’s interface.
Guest Network [Recommended] – A good portion of routers will allow for multiple networks to be created. For security purposes, it is preferable that external sources such as company or house guest use a Guest network to limit your data and network exposure. Similar settings to the ones listed above should be considered throughout the implementation, although passwords should be unique for Guests and may require it to be updated more often.
Implement a VPN [Optional] – VPN or Virtual Private Network is a tool used to extend security between two private network parties to decrease the risk of leakage or infiltration. A majority of Wi-Fi systems have the option to add a VPN to the network, although it often costs extra.
Conclusion – The items listed above will provide a basic level of security that every Wi-Fi system owner/admin should strive for. For those in need of a higher level of security or a better understanding of what/why certain levels of security is needed, you are encouraged to hire a professional. Data is a driving force for businesses and individuals in today’s technologically driven society, be sure to take steps to protect that data.
Implement a VPN [Recommended] – VPN or Virtual Private Network is a tool used to extend security between two private network parties to decrease the risk of leakage or infiltration. Although it costs money to have, it also increases user privacy, decreasing the risk that private or public networks try to tap your data.
Have your own Wi-Fi – To decrease the odds that others are using their Wi-Fi system to snoop your data, bring your own Wi-Fi with you and use the Wi-Fi system guidelines to increase your safety on the internet.
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