Over the years, security becomes second nature for many people, whether it be their personal belongings, car or home. Computers usages are no exception, as hackers and other digital criminals are lurking everywhere. There are many things that we can do to improve our safety. As an example, we should prevent unauthorized access to our wireless network. Many homes are replacing their legacy cable-based networks with those based on wireless technology. Hackers can easily access our wireless network by parking their car next to our home. WiFi hackers often drive around the neighbourhood to look for available wireless network.
There people are able to gain access through wireless network with improper router configuration. In this case, people will easily have a field day with our information. We should review our network to make it virtually hacker proof. First of all, we should know about the IP address of our gateway. It is very easy to do, we could go to Start > Run and type CMD. This will open the command prompt. In order to find out more about our wireless network, we could type ipconfig and press enter. We should look for IP address shown as Default Gateway and write it down. As an example, our IP address could be 192.168.1.1.
The next step we should do is by opening a web browser, such as Google Chrome or Firefox. In the address bar, we could type the IP address and press enter. This will bring up the router’s login page and we usually need to type in the default user ID and password provided by the manufacturer.
We should be able to find the user ID and password in the manual. As an example, the User ID could simply be ‘admin’ and the password is ‘123’. If we can’t find the default login information, we should call the customer service department or check the Internet. If our login detail is still default, then we should know that it would be easy for hackers to do the same. We may also reset the router by holding the reset button for about 5 seconds. Although this feature may seem like a security risk, for a wireless network, it is actually useful when we forget our password. Also, there’s a possibility that a professional installer has changed the password during the installation and he forgot to tell us about it.
The next step is quite obvious. We should change User ID and password other the one provided by the manufacturer. It means that, if someone has accessed our wireless network, they will not be able to enter with the router configuration page. Actually, a determined hacker could break into the login page, but they will need specialized tools and more time, which are not convenient to do while in a car. In this case, they will look for other wireless networks in the neighbourhood that still have default login details. We should also change our SSID and it is essentially the name of our wireless network. Manufacturer defines a default SSID and this makes it easier for hackers to access our network.