Let’s talk about online security. WiFi became important thing in our lives, but a lot of people don’t know basic WiFi security rules to protect their wireless networks and information from hackers. This article was made specially to eliminate illiteracy in terms of wireless network security.
1. Always use wired connection to enter in administration panel
It’s easy to enter in admin panel of router. You just need to launch browser, enter device’s IP address in address bar (usualy it’s 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1), in appeared window enter admin credentials. It’s important to don’t do it using wireless connection.
When you use wireless connection to enter in configuration page, hacker can get packets with data, from which he can get your credentials. To avoid losing your personal information, use only local cable connection.
2. Change default administrator credentials
Evert router has its own default credentials for configuration panel. Default login and passkey are used for first entering in admin panel to change default settings (detailed instructions here). If you reset your router to factory defaults, credentials will be reset too.
It’s important to change them.
On the Internet you can find websites which contain default administrator credentials for different router model name. If hacker know your router’s model name and you didn’t change password, it’s so easy to hack you.
Moreover, combination of login and passkey easier to brute-force if they are default.
3. Change network default SSID
One more parameter that you should change is wireless network name (SSID). SSID is how users can identify your network in list.
Most of the users use default SSID as network name, which is usually consisted of manufacturer name and model. We told in advice above, that it’s bad when someone knows your router model name. TP-Link always calls their devices by this method, so it’s important to change it.
4. Use WPA2 and AES encryption methods
If you neglect encryption, you always keep your personal information in open access and hackers can steal it.
Set up encryption takes about half of a minute of your personal time. When you set encryption, check that you use WPA2 Personal mode if it is. Otherwise you can use WPA Personal. In any case, do not use WEP mode because it is weak and easy to hack.
When WPA2/WPA is set, use AES encryption. If you don’t have AES, you can use TKIP, but AES is the latest and the most reliable encryption. Usage of AES andTKIP at the same time is similarly as use only TKIP, so always use only AES.
Don’t forget to change WPA2/WPA key. You should create strong password. Avoid common passkey creation mistakes. It means key should consist of different case letters, numbers, special chars. Its length should be about 12 digits.
5. Turn on firewall in router’s settings
Firewall analyzes incoming from network data and block all, what doesn’t pass security filter. A lot of routers have their own firewall like SPI Firewall. It gets parts of data from network and compare it with data from database. If it passes security test, this system don’t block it.
In the most cases, you don’t need to turn on firewall, because it’s turned on as default.
Moreover, you should know that built-in firewall can’t protect you very well. Recommend you to install additional soft, which will catch viruses which were passed by router’s filter and be your second protect wall.
6. Turn off some functions
WPS makes adding new devices in network easier. You just need to click on special button on router and then on device to connect it. You should turn off this function because it makes your wireless network very unprotected.
UpnP provides other devices to detect new added devices immediately. Usage of it is dangerous for your wireless network too because of bad realization of UpnP (huge number of security holes), so turn it off.If turning off this function isn’t available, it’s time to buy new router where this is available.
7. Update router’s firmware
It’s so important to update software. This opinion was formed by security specialists. Router’s firmware is software, which manage your device. There are two reasons, why situation is bad if you don’t update your firmware:
- It can have security holes, that wasn’t fixed and can be used by hackers.
- Without update, you won’t get new functions and advantages which will increase your router’s protection level.
Recommend you to update your firmware. You can find new available updates on your device’s manufacturer official webpage. Just download installation file and use it in configuration panel to install new version of firmware.