wireless network security

A few years back I hired a certified wireless hacker.  We were driving down I-5 by the Terwilliger curves at 55 miles an hour and he was showing my how his laptop could sniff out wireless networks and log into them.  We drove through Downtown Portland and even at 55 we sniffed and watched traffic on about 40 networks.  Unfortunately not everyone has such innocent intents in mind. People drive around and look for unsecure networks in order to mark your house down and hack into it and steal information from your unsecure network. They actually publish their handy work on the Internet to boast about their intrusion.

Do you practice good wireless network security, or is your house or business going to be one of the next ones marked down? I’m here to help you so you don’t end up losing your crucial information.

One and most importantly, make sure to have a secure password on your router. Most routers that come from a cable company like Verizon will already have a password on your router so there is no need to make one for those, but if you buy your own, like a Linksys, you will really want to change your password to something more personal in order to keep it secure. They will have directions for changing the password on any router that you buy, so just follow the directions left and make it your priority to first change your password.

If you got a router from Verizon or some other cable company, it is actually very simple to change the settings on your router. Go to the command prompt by searching “cmd” in the windows search. Then type ipconfig into the command prompt and find your IP address. Paste that IP address into the web browser of your choice and then you will be at a log in page.

Set your username and password and then your set. You can change things about your router at this location, some things you can do here that will increase your security would be turn off broadcasting of your SSID, or network name, change the password to your network, or even make it so it shuts down at certain times at night when you are no longer using it for that added layer of protection.

You can never be too careful when it comes to your information. Some final tips for securing your network don’t skimp out and buy a cheap firewall, make sure to get a good well known firewall with good product reviews for that added layer of comfort for your network. Also, keep on the lookout for any potential intruders that you see on your network. There are many freeware options for decrypting the access attempts on routers into layman’s terms so you can see who is connected to your internet and see if outside people have tried to access it.

Remember, network security is a serious issue and you must be on guard in order to keep your information as hidden as possible. It may not seem like much of a threat, but you won’t be saying that when someone manages to take your credit card or worse, your social security number from you. You can never be too safe.

Article by Scott Huotari, President CCSI, Google | LinkedIn