August 31, 2017
Here are some quick tips to secure your home and business network. The following tips are just basic precautions that can help secure your wireless router more than it is out-of-the-box. The following are tested and proven security methods.
Change Your Router Admin Username and Password
Every router comes with a default username and password. You will need this information when setting up the router but as soon as you are done change both the username and password. The default information is a matter of public record [http://www.routerpasswords.com/] for almost every router in existence.
Change the Network Name
The service set identifier (SSID) is the name that the Wi-Fi broadcasts out to the public around your house. Keeping the same SSID will make it easy for anyone to know what kind of router is being used. For example, Linksys routers say “linksys” in the name and some even list the make and model of the router.
Another trick is to periodically change the SSID. This can be challenging going into the IoT world, but it’s worth doing if you want to remove people who have had prior or existing access. Just remember to enter your new credentials into all your devices including TV’s, gaming consoles, tablets, computers, phones, and thermostats.
This may be the first thing you think of when we talk Wi-Fi security. It has been over 10 years since a router has been sold without encryption. Modern routers will have WPA2. This is the highest encryption method for most routers right now. If that is not available, use WPA. Just remember: to create a secure password and should be lengthy, alphanumeric, and include upper and lower case letters.
Double Up on Firewalls
Your Wi-Fi router security should already include a firewall. If it’s not activated, make sure to do so. It may be marked as SPI (stateful packet inspection) or NAT (network address translation).
For even more protection, install a firewall on your computers. There are plenty of great software packages for firewalls including ZoneAlarm. [https://www.zonealarm.com/software/free-firewall/]. The more you pay, the more security you will receive including malware, phishing, and antivirus protection.
Turn Off Guest Networks
Ah the guest network. A simple way to let friends use the network. Isn’t is just as simple to tell them the password? It’s great if your friends can easily get on, but that also means that your neighbors and the guy parked outside your house can get onto your network. Do you trust him?
Use a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) is a third-party connection that is added between your device and the internet. This help mask your identity by making it look like you’re in another location. This will prevent people from viewing your internet traffic. Using a VPN is smart for all internet users wired or wireless.
Update Router Firmware
Just like the apps on your phone and the updates to your computer, routers need to be updated as well. This is mainly for security reasons. Exploits are always found and fixed as soon as possible in order to keep everyone’s information safe.
You should check to see if your router needs an update monthly. In order to see if the firmware is up to date you will have to access your router settings. If not, you should be able to easily update it on the same page.
Turn Off WPS
A simple but forgotten task. People love WPS because it can make pairing as simple as pushing a button. The problem with this is that anyone can push the WPS button and gain access to your Wi-Fi. So, disable that feature so that you have one less thing to worry about.
As you it’s not that hard to easily secure your wireless network. There are always more advanced ways that will probably include a decent price tag.
If you’re looking for more information on network security, contact Brave River by email or phone 401-828-6611 for a free IT and network assessment – our team can help make your business more secure!