If you are setting up a wireless home network it is important to remember to configure the security components as well as the network itself for optimum protection against hackers and malware that can enter a network that is unsecured. Most wireless networks contain a lot of security features that have default configurations. This is why it is important to configure your network security so the default settings are not easily guessed by hackers with malicious intent.
Tips on Securing Your Home Network
The most important features that you want to configure are the features that come with default settings from the manufacturer. These are settings that can be easily determined by a hacker to access your home network if they are left in the default mode.
- Default Passwords: The router is the main access point for your home network and requires a username and password to set the configurations. The username and passwords are set at default by the manufacturer with words that are very easy to determine by a hacker. This information should be changed as soon as you acquire your router by logging in with the default user name and password and then changing the information in the settings after you log in.
- Default SSID: SSID refers to your local area network (LAN) which is the network you have set up in your home. The SSID is shipped with a default password that is also easy to determine. Make sure you change the SSID password to something more secure when you configure your wireless network. Although it does not directly affect outsiders since it is located on the internal network, it adds an extra layer of security to the overall configuration of your home network.
In addition to changing all of the default passwords and your user name, there are additional security measures you can take to ensure that your home network is secure.
- Enable the Firewalls: There is a firewall located in the router access point and in the operating system on your computer. Make sure that both firewalls are configured and enabled for maximum security.
- Use Encryption: Encryption is a means of securing data as it is transferred over a network so it cannot be intercepted by unauthorized parties. Most wireless equipment will support an encryption program and is designed to work with wireless networks. This is known as WEP encryption and can be activated on your wireless network.
- Router Position: Place your router in a position that allows it to reach areas inside your home but does not allow it to reach a distance away from your home where it can be detected by other WiFi devices and exploited by hackers. As a general rule, most routers reach a distance of approximately one hundred feet.
- Disable the Network When Not in Use: For added security disable the network when you are not using it to prevent it from accidentally being detected and used by unauthorized parties.