WiFi security, Securing your router from hackers cyber attacks, How to Video, Firmware updated, Change passwords, WPA2, Use MAC addresses if possible
If you read our article yesterday, January 18, 2015, you know that no router is safe from hacking.
So, what can you do to improve your odds of not being hacked?
From We Live Security July 22, 2014.
“Wi-Fi security – steps you can take now
A We Live Security video guide offers basic tips on how to secure home routers - and offers a good starting point for ensuring a Wi-Fi network isn’t vulnerable to snoopers and other unwanted ‘guests’.
Harley says, “Firstly, ensure your firmware is kept updated.” Firmware is the code and data which allows routers to function – similar in some ways to a computer operating system, but with the crucial difference that updates (to protect against bugs) often have to be installed manually.”
“Check your settings again
Changing passwords is an essential first step – but it’s worth checking back that your router’s settings haven’t changed, as this can be a problem with some models.
Harley says that users should always, “Change default router administrator usernames and passwords, and change the default SSID.” The SSID is the name of the network – which is broadcast to anywhere within Wi-Fi range. Leaving it as a default can broadcast information that is useful to an attacker – such as the model of router you are using, or whether you are using one supplied by your ISP. When choosing a new network name, avoid any personally identifying information such as your name or house number.
It’s worth considering making yours a “hidden network” – disabling the broadcast of the SSID’s name. That way you’re less visible to attackers – and to connect new devices, simply type in your network’s name on the gadget.
Harley warns that these precautions can be wasted if your router’s software is updated – which can occasionally revert settings to the default. “After any update, check these settings have not reverted,” he says.
WEP is not your friend
If your family or business has had the same router for a long time, you may be using WEP – an outdated form of encryption that can be cracked easily, even by unskilled hackers. Most new routers will use the more secure WPA2 standard – but if your router has been around for a while, it’s possible family members may have chosen WEP to connect older devices such as Nintendo’s first DS handheld. “Don’t use WEP encryption, if anyone still is,” Harley says. “If the router doesn’t allow anything else, time to change it. WPA2 is reasonably secure.”
Even if you’ve had trouble connecting mobile devices to a network, leaving it “open” is always a bad idea. Harley says, “ If you’re not using encryption at all, fix it.”
Know who is connecting to your network
Harley says that controlling which devices can connect to a network offers another layer of reassurance. “MAC filtering reduces the risk from intruder machines using your network,” he says.
Any PC or mobile computing device has a unique identifying number known as a MAC address. If you access your router’s settings, you can select which devices can and cannot connect to your network – meaning for instance, a neighbor couldn’t log in, or a teenage visitor could not access unsuitable sites via a smartphone.
Add the MAC addresses of all authorized devices in the home – iPhones, tablets, laptops etc. – to the router’s authorized list. No other device will then be allowed on the network. You can find the MAC addresses of mobile phones and other portable devices under their network settings, though this will vary for each device. Check with the manufacturer.”