In many cases, changing our router’s default login password, user ID and SSID is enough to deter hackers. However, there are cases that specific houses are targeted because they may contain specific information that hackers want. In this case, we should do the following steps to improve our wireless network:
- Disable SSID broadcasting: By default, SSID is broadcasted and it allows people to search for our network. In this case, the name of our network will be shown on any device. If we disable SSID broadcasting, people will not be able to see our network name in their device. Although there are tools that can help people to find network with non-broadcasted SSID, it is less likely for hackers to access our network. In fact, less experienced hackers will simply think that our wireless network is being switched off.
- Use WPA2 encryption: WPA2 is the default encryption standard for wireless network and we should use it, instead of the less advanced WPA. We should also regularly check the website of our router’s manufacturer and check whether there’s a new firmware for our router. WPA2 should be quite ideal to deter many hackers, since it could take a long time to break it. Unless hackers stay for days in van next to our house, it will be impossible to break into WPA2 protection.
- Setup Pre-shared key or PSK: It is essentially the password to our network and it is not the same with the router’s login information. In this case, we should make sure that the PSK is very difficult to guess. It means that we can combine lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as special characters and numbers. In order to make the password easy to remember, we could use easier combination, such as M9i8K7e, if we want to refer to our son’s name, which is Mike. These passwords should be changed regularly, because it is possible that hackers spend one hour each day to crack our password until they can break into our wireless network. By changing our password regularly, it is possible that they will need start from scratch.
- Use pairing feature: One of the most effective things we do is by allowing only paired device to connect with our wireless network. Some newer routers have this capability and we should upgrade to newer models if necessary. A warning alarm will be sounded if an unknown device tries to make a connection. This step can be combined with the use of CCTV, allowing us to check any suspicious people inside a car next to our house. In this case, we will be able to ambush the individual or call the local authority. We could record details of the possible perpetrator and his car.
With the above steps implemented, we should be able to properly secure the wireless network. There other steps that can be implemented, but they need to be performed by network professionals.