Own What You Pay For: Safeguard Your Home Wifi in 5 Steps
According to a recent study by Crowd Control HQ, although only 0.1% are “world class,” a huge majority (a whopping 90%) of web hackers are amateurs. You don’t really have to be a math wiz to figure out the probability the guy next door is piggy backing on your internet subscription… or worse, watching your browsing activity.
In case the numbers don’t convince you, you can try Googling “how to hack wifi connections” to see for yourself how even a child can be taught how to do it, no sweat.
5 Steps You Should Start Taking To Safeguard Connection
1. Turn On Your Firewall. We’re not talking about your computer’s firewall here, but your router’s. Yes, not many of us are aware that the better routers actually do have a firewall and that is has to be turned on.
Why? Your router’s firewall prevents unsolicited traffic from penetrating your network. Select routers even permit you to optionally block outgoing traffic.
2. Tweak Your Encryption Settings. As much as possible, do not use WEP. The vulnerabilities of using WEP include its being easier to penetrate. You can encrypt your network easily through searching for several apps or free guides on how to manually do it.
What do I change it to? Opt for WPA/WPA2.
3. Be Password-Savvy. You may not want to bother having a complex password that you think you may eventually forget. But, having an easy password makes you a loving neighbor to hackers within your vicinity. Choose a complex combination of symbols (letters in upper and lower cases, numbers, etc.).
Tip: So you don’t forget your password (which, you can always retrieve from your ISP or on your own), try changing numbers for letters. Say you would like your password to be the word “severe,” you can instead use 53v3R3.
4. Personalize Your SSID. Do not be content with the name that your service provider defaulted on your router. The SSID is the label you look for when trying to connect, and you should ALWAYS change it for two perks: (1) It’s yours, you claim it; and, (2) you hide your provider’s identity from hackers.
An SSID that stays in its default name that says who your service provider is is a plain giveaway, an additional info, to hackers wanting a freebie connection (or worse).
5. Activate the Option to Filter MAC Addresses. This is but a backup step to your WPA2 encryption because cloning MAC addresses is no longer a new thing. If you enable filtering, only the MAC addresses of the devices you permit in your network will be able to connect.
Although there is no 100% way to protect your wireless connection in a click, the premise remains simple: make life difficult for hackers to get in your network so they shift their attention elsewhere (hopefully to getting their own subscription and paying for it).
Image By Jason Jones