There are multiple ways one can protect their wireless network. First, choosing which form of wireless network is necessary. WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protection Access 2) is the most secure and is an upgrade over WPA. Before WPA, WEP was a less secure option. WPA2 should always be enabled and used with strong encryption like the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). This will ensure that all traffic on the network is encrypted and protected. EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) further advanced protection for authentication processes. It supports one-time use passwords, tokens, and smart cards. A later version of EAP, PEAP (Protected Extensible Protocol), is much more secure as it authenticates servers with public key certificates.
Another way to protect wireless networks is to limit their access to others. By using a secure router, only certain MAC (Media Access Control) addresses will be permitted. Routers are your first line of defense in defending your network from unwanted users. Routers generally come with a default name, so by changing this name, potential hackers will be less likely to gain access to them. These SSIDs (Service Set Identifiers) come with routers and access points from the factory by default and should be changed. Routers also come with default passwords that come from the manufacturer. This password should be changed into a complicated one using multiple different types of characters, symbols, and numbers, as well as stored in a safe location.
Remote Access can provide authorized entry into your network too and can be prevented by turning off any remote management features. Additionally, when one sets up the router, they should log out as an administrator to lessen the risk of someone else gaining control. These steps provide enhanced security, however, are only as good as how often they are updated. Firewalls, virus protection, and the router themselves need constant updating as new threats are created every day. Secure networks are only as secure as their computers. By using software firewalls as well as antivirus protection, a user can reduce their likelihood of threats and unauthorized access.
Another tip is to disable auto-connecting to open Wi-Fi networks. Connecting to or having other users connect to your networks expose your information and can cause many issues. You can also change the location of routers and access points, so their signals are positioned strategically. In a home, having your router near the center can reduce their coverage of outside of the building. Finally, if your network is not being used, it is recommended to just turn it off to save power and reduce the risk of threats.
Mitchell, Bradley. (2017). Top 10 Tips for Wireless Home Network Security. Retrieved from .