Many households choose a wireless network so all digital devices in the home can be online without being physically connected to a router. Since the wireless router connects digitally to the various devices around the house, this might result in potential risks such as:
• Other people connecting to your wireless network without permission – your next door neighbours may be in their own house, but is still close enough physically to access your internet connection if you don’t protect it.
• Someone hijacking your internet access.
• Internet criminals hacking into your system and intercepting any data that you send and receive including passwords, personal details and banking details and potentially putting your finances in danger and risking identity theft.
What you can do
Employing internet security measures can prevent this from happening. Most of these measures are fairly simple to do, and won’t stop you from accessing the internet:
• Set you administrator password – the administration password set by the manufacturer are easy to hack, so change this immediately, and choose your own password. Don’t use your name, date of birth, names of your pet/child or their date of birth, and try to include some random numbers and non-alphanumeric symbols too. This will make it harder for a hacker to guess.
• Switch off SSID (Service Set Identifier) broadcasting on the router. This tells devices that your network exists, so switching it off will stop it from broadcasting its existence. It’s much harder to hack something invisible!
• Enable encryption in your connection settings. If your device supports it, then WPA encryption is best. If not use WEP encryption.
• Change the default SSID Name of your device, and choose a name that isn’t easily identifiable with your own personal identity. For example avoid calling your network 27 Enfield Rd. or John P’s Network. Find a name you can easily remember, but which won’t link to you.
By taking these measures, you will make it harder to hack your network, use you internet access for free, steal credit card information and perform identity theft.