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How to Secure & Setup Home Wireless Networks

Do you use a wireless router for your business? Is your router secure and password protected? Can anyone connect to your wireless router? Your home based business needs security measures set up for your wireless network. Today, many neighborhoods are scanned, by someone using a receiver, which picks up unsecured wireless signals. They gain access to your home network through your router. Once inside, they scan your computers for information, accounts, passwords, and your proprietary business information.

Most home business owners don’t understand the technical side of router security and how to set their wireless routers. This makes your wireless LAN’s the target for information predators. Securing your home network requires just a little knowledge and understanding how the wireless setting works. Follow these 10 steps, to setup your network router and secure your network against predators.

  1. Wireless routers come with a setup CD to configure your router. Use the setup CD to access your wireless router.
  2. The first setting to change on your router is the factor password. Most router companies set the password as “password”. Give your router a new password using upper/lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Stay away from names and street address. A good example of a password would be “Tc68/D@7” Make your password 10 to 12 characters long, this makes entering your router difficult.
  3. Enable the 128-bit Wired Equivalency Privacy encryption (WEP) for the router and network cards. Every other month change your WEP code. Update your computer or router if they don’t support the 128-bit WEP encryption. The WEP inside your router is, the only minimal security precaution offered.
  4. Change your SSID setting on your router from the factory default. The SSID setting is the password that allows access to your network. When changing your SSID setting, never use, your name, address, passwords for other accounts, phone numbers, or birthdays. Always enter characters in a string that use upper/lower case letter, number, and special characters.
  5. Setup the router access point to not broadcast your SSID setting or name.
  6. Block the router from anonymous Internet requests and pings.
  7. Disable your P2P connections.
  8. Enable the MAC filtering on your router.
  9. Enable the network router, firewall and disable the demilitarized zone function.
  10. Enable the client firewalls for all computers in your network.
  11. Check your router using the CD provided for firmware updates. When new firmware is available update the firmware on your router.
  12. Secure your router in a hidden location, making it impossible for anyone to reset.
  13. When selecting the location for your router, remember the Wifi signal is 100 feet. Place the router closer to walls or in the middle of your room away from windows.

*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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