1. Choose a decent but memorable password. (easy)
I would advise using a mix of upper AND lower-case letters, and numbers. For a unique twist, choose a numeric password, but hold down the Shift key when typing during the setup. Suddenly the not-so-secure 1234567, becomes a much trickier !”£$%^& for the wannabe password guesser. Just remember to hold Shift when typing the password into devices wishing to access your router.
2. Hide your SSID. (intermediate)
You know when you’re connecting a device to a wireless network you look for the network name first? That network name is know as the “SSID” to tech folk. And a popular thing for the security conscious to do is to hide the SSID, this way the device wishing to connect to a wireless network doesn’t only need to get the password right, but also the SSID too.
Because the network name is hidden, to connect a device to the network you normally have to choose the option of “Other…” (or similar) when looking for a network to connect to. This will then prompt you to enter the SSID, password and security type (WEP, WPA etc) for the network allowing the device to connect providing the correct details are input.
3. Enable MAC address filtering. (advanced)
Despite being an advanced feature, many domestic home broadband routers have this feature built-in, it just needs switching on and setting up. Check your router manual or if your router was supplied by your ISP contact them to see if your router supports MAC address filtering.
Every WiFi device has a unique MAC (Media Access Control) address assigned to it. Every laptop, smartphone, PC etc has a different MAC address. Imagine it like a fingerprint for WiFi devices. And you can set most routers to only allow specific MAC addresses to connect to your router wirelessly. So imagine if a hacker managed to get past the two steps above - so they worked out your password, worked out your SSID, they would fall at the third hurdle. Because their computers MAC address would not be recognised by the router, and therefore denied access to its services. Even an experienced hacker would find this method extremely difficult to beat.
Take note that users would need to remember that anytime a new device is introduced to the wireless network, they will need to input the MAC address of the new device into the router before it can gain access.
If you hire a professional to setup a wireless network at your home or business, and you’re looking for great security. I would highly recommend setting-up all three of the systems shown here. This way your wireless router is protected by three sequential layers of security. Protecting you, your family, your equipment, and your personal information.
For more tech waffle, and general I.T chat and tips, follow Shaun on Twitter at @actionjaxon666