There are many steps you can take to secure the wireless connection in your home. Configuring a secure wireless connection is essential to not only keeping ‘the bad guys’ out, it also ensures that people within range of your wireless connection are not leeching your wireless access.
- Protect your wireless connection with a password. Most standard wireless installations include a password or network key in the routine configuration. Unfortunately, technicians will sometimes use the word ‘password’ as the actual password! This is obviously easy to guess and should never be used. Reset the password in the Admin panel of your router.
- Set the router to stop broadcasting your SSID (Service Set IDentifier). This is the name that you see when you search for networks to connect to. If you go to the admin panel of your router, you will see there is an option to turn off the name of your network
- Use wireless encryption. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is the encryption standard for wireless networking. It encrypts data traveling between access points and computers on a network. To improve security, you can also use WPA encryption. WPA is much more secure than WEP, however some older devices may not be upgradeable to WPA. You can enable WPA or WEB using the configuration utility for your device or through its Web Interface. Unsure how to access the configuration utility? Call Friendly Computers or your Internet Service Provider.
- Enter the MAC addresses of each device approved to use your wireless network into the router. A MAC address is a unique identifier of the network card in any device that connects to a router – phones, computers, etc. You can usually find a device’s MAC address in its “About” menu.