Your Wi-Fi generally just cruises along, but what if all of a sudden it slowed down? What if loading web pages started taking a long time or it was taking a long time to download something from Dropbox or from an email someone sent you? What if that YouTube video just won’t stream? While there are a number of reasons for this, there is one possible reason you might not have thought of—someone could be hijacking your Wi-Fi.
“But my Wi-Fi is password protected,” you say. Well, unfortunately password protection isn’t always enough. The type of security protocol you are using and other factors come into play. Plus, as many as 28% of home networks are unsecured, which means people haven’t even set up password protection. If someone, like a neighbor or a stranger, manages to gain access to your Wi-Fi, there can be some serious issues as a result.
The Dangers of Unauthorized Access to Your Wi-Fi
When an unauthorized person has access to your Wi-Fi, first and foremost they are using up your bandwidth. If you have an unlimited data plan, then you might be fine in that respect. However, if there is a cap on your data usage and you hit it all of a sudden, yet you know you didn’t use that much data, there is a good chance someone you don’t know has access to your network. In addition, if someone is using your Wi-Fi, you might find that your speed slows down, which can make it annoying at best to watch videos or movies, download content, and load pages.
Now these things aren’t trivial, but they are not the worst that can happen if someone has access to your Wi-Fi. Unauthorized access to your Wi-Fi also gives someone unauthorized access to your home network and the devices on that network. Here are a number of things the unauthorized party can do when this happens:
- They can download copyrighted material or illegal content via your network
- They can engage in criminal activities, such as sending hate emails
- They can upload malware to any computer connected to the network
- They can gain access to all your sensitive data
Someone can do all this with something as simple as installing TeamViewer on your computer, which gives them full and complete remote access to your computer, even if they end up being blocked from your network. And any illegal activity that someone conducts over your network will be traced back to you and you will be held responsible.
But that’s not all. We now live in a technological era in which many devices are computerized and connected to our home network. Smart homes and the Internet of Things (IoT) make it so that once someone has found their way into your home Wi-Fi network, they can gain control of anything, from your heating system to your lights to the cameras you have on the premises. They could be watching or listening to you at any time.
As you can see, it is extremely dangerous and can be devastating when someone has unauthorized access to your Wi-Fi, because whatever they do will be traced back to you, while they cover their tracks. This is a very serious, sometimes legal matter.
Find Out Who Is On Your Wi-Fi
Fortunately, you can find out if there are any unauthorized devices on your Wi-Fi with ease. Who’s On My WiFi is free Windows software that you can download and use to get a view of every device that is connected to your network. You can define a specific range of IP addresses for which to search, and ultimately, you can find all IP addresses and MAC addresses on the network and obtain computer names, if the computer is broadcasting at the time. Who’s On My WiFi can also provide:
- Precise times devices logged on and off your network
- A full set of analytics on your Wi-Fi network
- Information on any network, including home, work, and any other network you are logged into
- Service that integrates with your existing infrastructure
To use Who’s On My WiFi you simply need to download the appropriate version (Windows, MAC, or Android) of the Detection Agent and run it. The Detection Agent will take an inventory of your network and allow you to implement a tagging system to keep track of the known devices. Once you are done taking an inventory, you can connect Who’s On My WiFi to the cloud and it will track the network usage over time.
Who’s On My WiFi Demo:
With this you can keep track of your home network, but you can also use it in many other situations. If you are at a hotel, you can use it to see how many users are using the hotel network, which allows you to choose a time when there are fewer devices connected and the speed is faster. You can use it to troubleshoot a friend’s or family member’s network. You can also just nose around and see who is on any network to which you are connected.
What to Do If You’re Wi-Fi has Been Compromised
If you do find when you use Who’s On My WiFi that someone you don’t know has hacked into your Wi-Fi, then you need to take the following immediate steps to block that person and prevent them from getting on your network again:
- Check the security protocol you are using. WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is no longer adequate and can be easily hacked. You should be using WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access), or even better, WPA2, which is more secure.
- Change your password immediately. Your password should be no less than 15 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and various forms of punctuation.
- Understand that hiding your SSID (Service Set Identifier) and using IP or MAC filtering will not protect your network.
- Update your anti-virus and anti-malware software and run a full scan of your computer, removing anything the scan finds.
- Check any recent installations, no matter how insignificant they might seem, and make sure to remove anything that looks suspicious.
- If you are concerned your computer is still compromised with malware or something else and you aren’t sure how to handle it, then take it to a professional that knows how to clean it up and secure it once again.
As you can see, an unknown person gaining access to your Wi-Fi network is cause for alarm and immediate action must be taken. But you can’t stop someone from accessing your network if you don’t know about it. They key is to be able to monitor your network on a constant basis and know when there is unauthorized access. Who’s On My WiFi allows you to keep track of every device that is on your network on an ongoing basis so you will know who is on it at all times and you can take action when unauthorized access takes place. This definitely brings peace of mind.