How to Make a Secure Wireless Network

June 22, 2009

Ensuring that your wireless network is secure is important to maintain
the privacy of your important data. Theft of data and resources through
the Internet has become more prevalent, especially since anyone with
just the right equipment and a bit of know-how can set up a wireless
network in just minutes. Taking just an extra bit of time to secure
your wireless connection will prove beneficial in the long run.

Materials:

wireless router

Step 1

Make sure your wireless router or access point is secure. An administrator password is needed to be able to configure security settings in a router or access point. The moment you’ve set up your router or access point, change the default password. Use a strong password, one thatincludes letters, numbers, or even special symbols. Write down the password and keep it in a safe place for future reference. There is ahigh probability that you won’t be using the password often but loss of this password may result in resetting your router to default factorysettings. This will wipe out all previous configurations and settings you have made.

Step 2

Turn off broadcast of your network’s Service Set Identifier (SSID) to prevent anyone within range to detect your wireless network. This will be a bit inconvenient because a valid user will not easily detect the network; however, in the long run, it prevents people who are not partof the valid network from detecting and potentially leeching from your  resources.

Step 3

Consider using Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) over Wired Equivalency Privacy (WEP). WEP has weaknesses already known to most experienced hackers so it is relatively easy to crack and access. WPA provides better protection. Older versions of the router, however, do not support WPA.

Step 4

Use WEP if WPA is unavailable. You might omit the whole process of setting up WEP because of its flaws but it’s better than no protection at all. Try to make up for its weaknesses by setting an encryption key that isdifficult to guess. Another method is to change your password every week. This may prove tiresome but necessary if you want to make sureyour wireless network is secure.

Step 5

Check if Remote Administration is disabled. This is usually turned off by default but it is best to be sure. Remote Administration enables theconfiguration of your wireless router or access point via the Internet. Turn it on only when absolutely necessary.

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