How To Protect A Wireless Connection

How To Protect A Wireless Connection

If you're concerned about hackers tapping into your wireless internet connection, and want to make it as secure as possible, this film will show you what you need to do to keep your details safe.

Step 1: Place your router in a safe place

When installing your router, try to position it in the centre of your house and away from windows. The radio signals can transmit through walls so you want to try and stop these leaking from your home.

Step 2: Change all default usernames and passwords

When you first buy your router, the manufacturer will have set default usernames and passwords. These are well known to hackers so as soon as you have completed your initial log in, change both the username and password to something only recognisable to you.

Step 3: Encrypt your emails

By enabling encryption, all emails sent over the network will be scrambled into a code so they can't be read by hackers. There are two principle types of encryption, WEP (wired equivalent privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi protected access). The latest and far superior encryption method is WPA BUT if you can't access this, then WEP is better than nothing at all. See how to encrypt emails for tips.

Step 4: Change your network name

All wi-fi devices have a network name or SSID. These are originally set with a default name that tends to be quite obvious e.g. Linkys. Keeping the default name can attract a hacker's attention as it can be sign that you haven't secured your network in other ways.
Making the changes will depend on your router but these are the tips for the common Linksys router. Enter the IP address of your router (found in the starter manual), for Linksys it is usually http://192.168.1.1/, into the address bar of your web browser. Log in and click on the wireless tab. Here the SSID is displayed. Change the SSID – it can be up to 32 characters and then save.

Step 5: Limit access to the network

Every computer has a unique identifier called a MAC address. Your wireless router reads the MAC address of every device that tries to make a connection to the network. Routers allow you to configure the network so only computers with particular MAC addresses can connect. Log into the router's configuration window and choose the filter tab or button. Here you can list the MAC addresses of all the computers that will be able to access the network. See VideoJug's How to find a MAC address for tips on finding your MAC address.