Using a wireless network in your home gives you the convenience of being able to use your computer virtually anywhere in your house — and still be able to connect to other computers on your network or access the Internet. However, if your wireless network is not secure, there are significant risks. For example, a hacker could:
- Intercept any data that you send or receive
- Gain access to your shared files
- Hijack your Internet connection — and use up your bandwidth or download limit
Internet Security tips — to help you protect your wireless network
Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your wireless network and router:
- Avoid using the default password
It’s easy for a hacker to find out the manufacturer’s default password for your wireless router — and then use that password to access your wireless network. So it’s wise to change the administrator password for your wireless router. When you’re deciding on your new password, try to pick a complex series of numbers and letters — and try to avoid using a password that can be guessed easily.
- Don’t let your wireless device announce its presence
Switch off SSID (Service Set Identifier) broadcasting — to prevent your wireless device announcing its presence to the world.
- Change your device’s SSID name
Again, it’s easy for a hacker to find out the manufacturer’s default SSID name for your device — and then use that to locate your wireless network. Change the default SSID name of your device — and try to avoid using a name that can be guessed easily.
- Encrypt your data
In your connection settings, make sure you enable encryption. If your device supports WPA encryption, use that — if not, use WEP encryption.
- Protect against malware and Internet attacks
Make sure you install a rigorous anti-malware product on all of your computers and other devices. In order to keep your anti-malware protection up to date, select the automatic update option within the product.