Online Safety: Do you have a secure wireless router?

Joy
Joy Mali is an active blogger who is fond of sharing interesting finance related articles to encourage people to manage and protect their finances. Follow her to know on how to prevent identity theft and other scam.
Joy
Joy
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wireless network

credit – cisco.com

Do you know how secure your home wireless router is? Leaving your wireless network open and unsecure can make it accessible to anyone close to your router’s signal. The problem is that aside from you, your family and friends; there might also be others connected to your wireless network without you knowing it. Much like using unsecure public wireless connections in airports, coffee shops or hotels, an unsecure wireless network at home can leave you vulnerable to online identity theft. Also, hackers can easily gain access to the sensitive information on your computer as well as on other devices connected to your network. Whatever information you send over the Internet via your Wi-Fi can be intercepted without proper security settings.

Another thing, people can use your unsecure wireless routers to download illegal documents on the Internet or perform illegal online activities and since they’re using your IP Address, all their activities are listed as yours. Since you don’t know about who’s connected to your network, the information will be traced back to you.

As part of maintaining Internet safety and keeping sensitive information private, it’s important to check your wireless network’s settings and make it secure.

Keep your wireless router safe

One important internet safety tip is to keep your home Wi-Fi safe through the step by step process. Each of the wayslisted here increases your level of safety and this helps ensure that you’re getting the highest level of security. Here are some ways to secure your wireless router:

Set-up a wireless password

All routers come with default

login and password combination. It’s important to change these default settings, especially setting-up a new password. By doing this, you’re limiting the number of users only to the ones who know the passwords, and this is the very first step to securing your wireless network.

Enable your wireless’ encryption

It’s really necessary to use encryption on your wireless router. Aside from the fact that it keeps intruders at bay, it also blocks snoops from “taking a peek” at your network traffic.  Keep in mind that encryption scrambles all the information you send to a website, so that it can’t easily be cracked, decoded or intercepted by a third party intruder.

There are two types of encryption for wireless routers: WEP and WPA2. WEP is the most common encryption type used on almost all wireless routers. WEP can help keep off neighbors and passersby, but since there are lots of free tools available online that can easily crack WEP code, hackers can still hijack your network to gain access to your sensitive information. WPA2, on the other hand, is used on new wireless routers and is more secure than the WEP. This means that older wireless router versions may not use WPA2 unless you upgrade your router or buy a new one.

Securing Wi-Fi through MAC address filtering

The Media Access Control address, commonly known as MAC address, is a unique ID assigned to laptops and other devices. In short, anything that can be connected to your network or on the Internet has a MAC address. After you change the password, enabled encryption and restart your wireless router, you can connect your laptop again to your network to see its MAC address.

You can then filter the MAC addresses of whatever devices you have to your router to increase your level of security and limit the number of devices that can connect to your router only the MAC addresses that you’ve allowed. One drawback of this, though, is that if you have frequent guests coming around and using your wireless network, you might as well add their MAC addresses or temporarily disable your MAC filtering.

Comments

  1. Now I am using my Internet wired connection but now going to setup wireless router.
    Thank you for sharing this information because before installing my router I know secure tips.
    Can we create different logins on single routers?
    Nikhil recently posted..MPSC 2014 Schedule Time Table Exam DateMy Profile


  2. Twitter:
    Setting up a secure Wifi Router is helpful to protect our information and surf web safely.! Great guidance by you! I appreciate that.
    Jafar Dhada recently posted..Gmail Login | Gmail Sign InMy Profile


  3. Twitter:
    Oh yes thats pretty right but i myself use a wifi router i bought from one of my friends… I think WIFI is indeed itself secure
    SAJID recently posted..Gmail Login – http://www.Gmail.com – Gmail Sign InMy Profile


  4. Twitter:
    Joy,

    Thanks for these excellent tips. I appreciate the difference you cleared between WEP and WPA 2. I’ve been seeing these on my router’s setting for sometime yet had no idea what they meant.

    Do have a great day!

    – Terungwa
    Akaahan Terungwa recently posted..8 TIME WASTING HABITS OF BLOGGERS YOU NEED TO STOP!My Profile

  5. Said it true. This days hacking has turned common. You must secure your home and office wifi router in better way.


  6. Twitter:
    I don’t think there is any strong way to secure BSNL wireless router?
    Ansh Gupta recently posted..30+ Best Pinterest Style WordPress Themes 2013My Profile


  7. Twitter:
    This is important information for anyone with an internet connection, really. It is essential to learn how to protect yourself as more and more of our interactions and transactions are starting to take place online. Knowing how to secure your router is very important; there are too many people today who continue to freely connect to the internet without basic security, and the threats are only going to continue to grow.

  8. security is very important in wireless connections. i always recommend my clients to use WAP security in wireless routers o make your connection very secure.
    Gaurav Heera recently posted..Lifestyle of booming peoplesMy Profile


  9. Twitter:
    I use wireless router but i haven’t bother to check the settings. You made a strong point on keeping routers secure. I didn’t even know access through wifi use the ip of the internet source. This post deserve a tweet which i have done.
    Iteire Apollos recently posted..Increase Subscribers With Scroll Triggered Box PluginMy Profile

  10. Yes, I do have a password for my password router. But, I’m not sure if wireless encryption is set up or not, should check this. Thanks for the nice post!


  11. Twitter:
    This is a thing that everyone must keep in mind.I also discovered my Router open without any password protection and added a strong password right at that time.Online safety is really necessary.
    Gautam recently posted..How To Install Apps In Windows 8 Phone Through SD CardMy Profile

  12. sindiparmar says:

    Thanks for such a informative post. I am knowing most of this as i am using wireless router from last 12 months. But yes for new users it is necessary to know about all this to get secure from various threats.
    Keep informing us if you have such more information with you


  13. Twitter:
    Thanks for the tips Joy. I prefer setting alphanumerical passwords and restricting the connectivity of the signal to only allowed devices.
    Naser recently posted..Download Subway Surfers For PC FreeMy Profile


  14. Twitter:
    I have always had a password for my wireless router after changing the default password. And for the wifi, I have used WEP. Using the more secure WPA2 and option for MAC address filtering is an excellent tip.
    chang recently posted..Singlesnet loginMy Profile


  15. Twitter:
    Nice and informative article mate !
    this is what i call a killer post with complete details. BTW , having a secure wireless router is very important for those who are too concerned about their privacy and online security. Thanks for sharing the information mate .

    -Pramod
    Pramod recently posted..Lok Sabha Election 2014 news portal launched by GoogleMy Profile


  16. Twitter:
    I have been using a WiFi router for last one year. I have always had a strong password for the router and often changes it to make it more secure. Thanks for the wonderful post.
    Lakhyajyoti recently posted..Things to Do When Your Post Doesn’t Get Desired TrafficMy Profile


  17. Twitter:
    yes WPA2 is a secure connection, but has its downs too.
    The WPA2 connection keeps breaking due to its high security. my iPhone faces this problem and disconnects many a times.
    Anchit Shethia recently posted..Apple and China Mobile finally Sign the iPhone DealMy Profile


  18. Twitter:
    It is paramount that we secure our wireless router and thanks Joy for the detailed explanation.
    We do appreciate it and am pretty sure there are people who has never thought about this.
    Frank Joseph recently posted..Reasons why Online Payday Loans Are Gaining Popularity with PeopleMy Profile


  19. Twitter:
    hi joy,

    Great post and you are giving very valuable info. But i think i need more exploration on this topic like how to setup wi-fi router’s security. Thanks for sharing joy
    diwaker recently posted..Lava Iris 503 and 3G 402 – Smart phones under 10,000My Profile


  20. Twitter:
    Use fing, a network monitoring app that can scan your network and give information about unwanted users / devices on your network.
    somon recently posted..Clash of clans for PC Download: How to install on Computer (Windows 7 / 8 / XP / Vista)My Profile

  21. Kedar Lasane says:

    Are there any software that automatically secures your wireless router and tell us when someone trying to breach security???


  22. Twitter:
    This is a very good article, as you go down a road there are so many homes that have unprotected WIFI. The risk this poses for people they don’t realize. Not just free WIFI access but access to your computers and if you have got WIFI enable technology that as well!
    Andy Lockhart recently posted..Network Marketing are you a professional?My Profile


  23. Twitter:
    If somebody have decided to hack into router, it wont be so difficult, even the security. Though it is always much better to tight up the things a bit.


  24. Twitter:
    Is there any software through which we can get information of connected devices through wifi ?
    Tayyab Nasir recently posted..GOOGLE NOW INCLUDE APP RESULTS IN SEARCH FOR ANDROID USERS BUT “ONLY IN USA”My Profile


  25. Twitter:
    Security is the key these days, most of us have WiFi so being protected is of the up most importance, great article and it’s certainly cleared up a lot of the mysticism behind WiFi security.
    Karen Woodham recently posted..Great Martian War 1913 – 1917 [Review]My Profile

  26. Marc Norris says:

    Make sure to change your WPS pin as well. There are many cracking programs that attack the router by trying to crack the WPS pin – do yourself a favor and make it a little harder for the hackers.

    If you don’t know if it is changed or not, you should take a look that it isn’t just a bunch of zeroes – most routers are set to zeroes by default.


  27. Twitter:
    Great Post… But Don’t you think that Securing Wi-Fi Router with these are not enough to Make it that Secure?
    Ravi recently posted..5 Best Android Apps of 2013My Profile


  28. Twitter:
    Nice advice but not applicable to people like me who still use dial-up connections very prone to hacking. By the way is it possible to add SSL certificate to my blog? I purchased one and haven’t used it as they want Static/Dynamic IP to install the certificate ( I hope this last bit is now way out of topic here).
    Samson Ogola recently posted..Top 10 best paying freelance websites you should joinMy Profile

  29. Making Wireless router secure is really important these days. Rather than the personnel securities hackers can also steal our bandwidth and can be used for some offence. Me changed the password to to 10+ digits, symbols, letters and also changed the wifi name to something different.


  30. Twitter:
    WPA2 is good for security but if you are using iPhone or iPad, WPA2 might cause problems related to dropped wi fi connections because of security in network within the iPhone’s antenna. I would suggest for WEP connection if you are home based. WPA2 is cool for public places.


  31. Twitter:
    It is important to be aware and secure of surrounding in this virtual world of the Internet, when you open up your computer and yourself to the public. Wonderful read Joy! :)
    Chetan recently posted..Home Solutions for Mumbai Home BuyersMy Profile

  32. is anything 100% secure these days , im sure you could put all the security in the world and change your wi-fi password daily but will this really stop them from gaining access ?? , is there a 100% safe way to secure your wi-fi ??


  33. Twitter:
    Although I’m definitely a type of hacker I don’t want to care about my home network too much, that’s why I’ve chosen an Airport Express into my small office. It works fine and I hope that apple cares much more about network security than I, or am I wrong? btw I don’t prefer mac address filtering because I often get visitors who wanted to use my wifi, although I know it means some risks for me.
    Peter recently posted..3D nyomtatás kiállítások világszerteMy Profile

  34. if we say some thing is completely safe and secure we said a big lie !
    but i have a question , instead of changing password daily and other works on password WPS button can’t help security of router ?
    i mean that instead of setting password for router connecting we set wps button for connecting!??

  35. Joshua LaForce says:

    Very good practices Joy!

    Most hackers usually weigh their workload accessing your network versus the reward that they will receive upon gaining access. For home networks, that’s all based on the types of traffic they can actually see. So encrypting is very important, as well as turning off your guest login. Also on the password portion, I would ALWAYS use a password of 12-18 characters, anything less than that a decent hacker can brute, break, or decrypt easily within a few hours of trying. It’s a hassle, but I would always follow best practices when it deals with your identity. I always avoid public connections, its too easy to sniff out IP’s that are accessing the network and monitor traffic from them. When travelling I would always use a password protected network, so at least there is some semblance of protection of your connection. If you are a road warrior, I would highly recommend looking at a lot of the private VPN services out there. This will protect you and your data even while on an open network because it encrypts your traffic. I would recommend doing this even on secured networks, because being in the IT business for as many years as I have, businesses still have the same problem with basic security practices such as changing admin information on router, switch, and modem equipment. As seen in some of the most recent stories with major retailers.

    Great article!


  36. Twitter:
    This is the world of internet. Everthing getting done online either it is payment scheduling or important conversation. So it is essential to make it secure. I was aware from MAC address filtering but other 2 are new for me.
    Anyway thanks for sharing
    Rupali recently posted..List Of Smartphones Comes with Android 4.4 KitKat UpdateMy Profile


  37. Twitter:
    Good tips for securing wireless router,but now a days it has become very easy to break the password however we have to protect it with a password.
    Dilip Win recently posted..iphone 5 vs iphone 6My Profile

  38. recently i found my internet connection so slow at certain hours. then i call my internet provider and ask what happened. then he explain it that there 6 unknow people who use my wifi. i never gave my wifi password to outsiders. after that i changed my password with WPA2/WPA Mixed Mode and with complicated password and its work.
    Willy recently posted..Zaman Keemasan Animasi Walt DisneyMy Profile

  39. helllo joy
    according tome i think It is important to be aware and secure of surrounding in this virtual world of the Internet, when you open up your computer.by the way nice share thnx for this wonderful read about security of wireless router
    monika recently posted..Samsung galaxy s5|release of samsung galaxy s5My Profile

  40. Thanks for the article. Securing your router should be top priority once you first get it. My family and I have had a horrible experience with our service provider. After learning that people had broken through our password protected wifi, we still had to pay hundreds of dollars for the bill. And it wasn’t even my family’s usage!

    Thanks again Joy, it’s important to bring up the topic from time to time.
    Ann-Elizabeth recently posted..Top 5 tips on eating gluten-free the quick and easy wayMy Profile


  41. Twitter:
    Hey joy,
    Nice post and Thanks for sharing these important tips with us. Yes Set up a wireless password is really very important step. These days hacking is become very common issue, so we have to apply all these safety tips.
    Sudipto recently posted..Best Android Phone Under 7000My Profile


  42. Twitter:
    Ya absolutely hacking is one of the most threatening thing for any online network now days. Setting up the password is must be hacking proof . Thanks for sharing the nice post with us.
    Mahendra recently posted..Best free Antivirus for Android 2014 list & DownloadMy Profile


  43. Twitter:
    Keeping the wireless router secure is very important in a area with higher population density. This is also true to tourist areas where most people are looking for free wifi. Not only is it risky to leave the wifi open to all, it can also spike up the bandwidth usage when others used. Even on some unlimited plans, there are some fair usage policy and speed throttling can happen. That said, I personally don’t like to use unsecured wifi especially when I don’t know who is offering it. It does bring in the risk of data theft.
    Arun Chandran recently posted..Google VoiceMy Profile

  44. Online safety is the crucial part, we must take care of these type of safety. Wireless router this is the thing that got easily hacked. So that should be maintained secure, this article is really nice. Thanks for this info.
    Neha recently posted..How to Get Fair Skin in 1 Week Naturally, Get Fairer Skin FastMy Profile

  45. hello
    thnx for this nice post mate according to me i think for new users it is necessary to know about all this to get secure from various threats.
    deepti recently posted..hdfc mobile banking | hdfc phone banking app for android,nokiaMy Profile

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