Is your home Wi-Fi secure?

Wi-FiAnswer: Probably not. Most home networks are not secure to begin with. To add wireless A/B/G/N on top of that, you’re really asking for trouble. Fear not, for here are a few things you can do to lock down your environment, and keep out snooping eyes.Whether you have a wireless network or not, you should always take care of your security basics (antivirus, antimalware, firewall, etc.). For more on this see my previous post Security is Like an Onion. For wireless networks, here are four security changes that are pretty easy to enable:

  1. Change default router password – If you have a wireless router or access point, you may have decided not to change the administrator password from the default. The problem is that these default passwords are well documented, and can be discovered with a simple Google search.
  2. Disable Broadcast SSID – By default most wireless access points and wireless routers broadcast the name of your wireless network, or SSID. By disabling this feature, you can help prevent prying eyes by making your network nearly invisible.
  3. Enable WPA Encryption (or better) – Some encryption should always be enabled on any wireless network. Doing this can help ensure that any data that is intercepted, is not easily readable by an unauthorized computer. At a bare minimum use WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), but I generally suggest using WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) or WPA2.
  4. Turn on MAC Filtering – Each computer’s wireless network adapter has a unique Media Access Control (MAC) address. By enabling MAC filtering you can determine which computers you will allow access to your network.

Making only one of these changes will not make your network very secure. There are also many additional security methods… too many to list here. If you follow these four suggestions, your home wireless network will be secure enough to deter just about any intruder. Again, don’t forget to secure any PC, laptop, or server on your network, also!

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