With the emergence of traditional wired networks, it has become a big problem that others can access the Wi-Fi network using your broadband connection whether they are your neighbors or someone who is just sitting outside your home. This practice can increase your monthly Internet bill especially when you are required to pay per byte of data transfer. It can also decrease your Internet access speed as the network is being shared with other users. But the most alarming issue is the security hazard that attackers can hack your computers and personal files through your wireless network. Therefore, to prevent any trouble, follow the six ways listed below to keep your Wi-Fi router or your ip camera, which is also prone to cyber attacks, safe and secure.
1. Enable Network Encryption
To prevent others from using your internet connection, you must enable network encryption. There are many ways to encrypt the wireless settings such as WEP, WPA, and WPA2. WEP is the simple encryption and compatible with most of the devices. However, it is the least secure one. WPA2 is the most secure one, but it is compatible with hardware manufactured later 2006. To enable encryption on your Wireless network, go to wireless security settings on the router’s configuration page and select the security method as per your requirement. After selection, enter a passphrase to access the network. Make sure to use a difficult phrase with a combination of letters and numbers that can be difficult for anyone to guess.
2. Change the Default SSID and Disable Broadcasting
Your network name is the SSID. Usually, routers use a generic SSID such as “Netgear” or “default.” You can change it to something that is not common. Use the same methodology while creating a secure password. A network which is using a standard or default SSID can be easily perceived by the attacker, and a poorly configured system will be most likely to attack frequently. Another thing you can do with your SSID is to disable broadcasting that will eventually lessen the chances of being attacked. You don’t need to worry about disabling this feature as you can still connect it manually.
3. Reduce the Range of the Wireless Signal
If your wireless router has a long range that exceeds your requirement, consider decreasing the range by either using a different wireless channel or changing the mode of the router to 802.11g. Another simple way is to place the router under the bed or wrap a foil around the antennas that will somewhat restrict the signals. In addition to that, you can use Wi-Fi blocking paint that will prevent your neighbors from accessing your wireless connection. The paint has chemicals that effectively block radio signals by absorbing them.
4. Configure and update your router
If you have not updated your router, it’s time to do. For this, you will need to find the instructions in the manual that came along or from the Internet Service Provider. Firstly, you need to change the default username and password to access your router’s onboard settings. Though the available settings will vary and depend on your router, at least you should check the devices connected to your network. Also, you will have an option to update your router’s firmware. It’s quite important to make sure the latest security reinforcements and updates have been functional.
5. Use a VPN and high-security software
The Virtual Private Network is an essential software that creates a security bridge between you and whatever you are searching on the web. It makes it almost impossible for anyone to spy on your activities. You will find several VPN comparison guides online similar to firewalls. Though most of us use free security application or built-in OS tools but paying for extra protection is worth it. A firewall can effectively help your router to prevent any unwanted traffic off your network especially for your smart home devices.
6. Filter MAC addresses
All your Wi-Fi enabled devices have a unique MAC address similar to a computer connected to the Internet with unique IP address. For additional protection, you can add the MAC address for all the devices to your wireless router’s settings. It will only let the specified devices connect to your Wi-Fi network. One address allows only one device on the network. To enable MAC address filtration, the first step is to make the list of your hardware devices that you want to connect to the wireless network. Search for their MAC addresses and add them to your router’s administrative settings. To find MAC address for your computers, open Command Prompt and type “ipconfig /all” and it will show your MAC address. Furthermore, you can get the MAC addresses for your Wireless smartphones and other portable gadgets in your network settings, though it might vary for each device.