How to Secure your Wireless Network

We have previously posted a blog about the benefits and risks of wireless networks.  One of the main risks was the potential for data to get intercepted on a wireless network, mainly when it is unsecured.  In this blog post we hope to give you a few tips that will keep your data secure when using your wireless network.

Using the default network name and password does not give you very much protection either.  There are databases available online that list default network names and passwords that anyone can access to figure out what default password you are using.  You should change the default password as soon as you set up your new router, and you should select the WPA2, also known as WPA-PSK, option, which is much more secure than the WEP option.  See last month’s blog post on creating a strong password for help selecting a new password.  Wireless network passwords can typically be up to 64 characters long, and the longer the password, the better.  While it may seem inconvenient to have to type that many characters, maintaining the security of your wireless network can not be taken lightly.

Another preventive measure you should take is to turn off your wireless router when it is not in use.  Even turning it off every night before you go to sleep and turning it back on when you need it reduces the amount of time your network is available for others to see and/or try to use.  You should especially make sure to turn it off if you plan on going on a trip or being away from your home for an extended period of time.

If possible, turn off the setting that allows for remote administration.  This way, you will have to have a wired connection with the network to change any settings, which will prevent someone who has managed to hack your password from going into the settings and changing the password, effectively locking you out of your own wireless network.

Wireless networks, whether at the home or the office, are very convenient and useful when you have multiple computers requiring access to the Internet.  However, they are also something else that requires careful maintenance and protection.  By utilizing these simple tips, your wireless network should keep your data secure.

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