Wireless Network Security – Prevent Hijacking
Your Network: Exposed
If you don’t take the proper measures to safeguard your Wi-Fi network, you can easily end up a victim of identity theft and more. Hackers know their trade well and they make it a habit to peruse neighborhoods, canvassing them in search of unsecured Wi-Fi connections. From that point, without the right precautions in place, they can not only access your internet to use it, but they can also see what you’ve been accessing—and how. That’s right; all your personal information from email accounts to banking and more is visible to the skilled hacker via cookies that are floating around your network. Anyone in your household that uses your Wi-Fi connection is in harm’s way as well. If the thought of a complete stranger gaining access to information on your children disturbs you, read on.
Often, hackers can place viruses onto your network enabling them continued access to your entire household’s information long after they’ve left the area that your connection will service. Thieves need not necessarily be defined as a hacker either; sometimes the person stealing your Wi-Fi is simply the guy next door, but when neighbors commit illegal acts online—it’s your household that it traces back to.
Safeguarding Your Network
Many people assume they’re protected from Wi-Fi theft by using programs like Norton Antivirus, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Such software applications are set up to specifically protect the device they are on. It does not detect other users connected to your internet. The following steps will ensure you have adequate protection for your Wi-Fi network:
First, encrypt your data. Read the manual that came with your wireless router. Most are already equipped with the capability to encrypt data; it’s just a matter of adjusting the settings so that it does.
Second, be aware that WEP—otherwise known as Wireless Encryption Protocol—was used frequently in the past for encryption needs, but is no longer considered to be the most effective form of data encryption. WEP may still leave your wireless network open to risk as it is not very difficult to hack. A better encryption solution is WPA (Wireless Protocol Access) or WPA2.
Third, make sure your wireless internet connection is protected with a password. Ideal passwords should be lengthy, uncommon, impersonal, and an alphanumeric combination.
Fourth, ensure that your router is equipped with firewalls. These invisible tools protect your computer from intruders.
Fifth,make sure that the default password of your modem- router is changed.
Last but not least, check your router’s device list regularly to make sure there are no unauthorized users. If need be, you can download software that allow
s you to keep an eye on who is connected to your network. These applications generally provide users with the IP addresses, device names, and more regarding all users connected to the network in question.
Remember, if you don’t employ a subscription service to encrypt your data—such as a Virtual Private Network offered by companies like Boingo—to always be cautious about what you do online when using public hotspots.
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