HOW TO SECURE YOUR WIRELESS WI-FI NETWORK

Technology is speeding up in all sectors of life. Be it while finding something to shop online, or to keep people updated through various websites and blog. And with the ever increasing need and demand for wireless networks, every one around is concerned about its security. To privatize your own personal wi-fi networks, save them off prosecutors, or hackers. Reasons being many, most important of them, reduced internet bills, fast access to the web, and a saviour from security hazards. These are tricks to help you secure your wireless network to its maximum possibility.
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ENCRYPT YOU WI-FI NETWORK :        In order to prevent other computers in the area from using your internet connection, you need to encrypt your wireless signals. While using wi-fi networks, every detail of data you send and received can be easily accessed by anyone with the right set of tools. Packet sniffers can be used by even a non-hacker or the naive ones. Which means, hackers can not only see your  details of website visits, but also creep into knowing you login details on either personal or professional forums. There are two encryption standards available that you can use: WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wireless Protected Access). WEP is the older standard of encryption and can now be bypassed by the malicious hackers in a matter of minutes. WPA is relatively newer but it still has security loop holes. AirCrack and coWPAtty are some free tools that allow even non-hackers to crack the WEP / WPA (PSK) keys using dictionary or brute force techniques. WPA2 is the latest standard and is what you must use if you want the highest level of protection for your wireless network. The encryption keys used change each time a device accesses the network making WPA more difficult to hack. The encryption used by all devices in the network must be the same for the network to work properly. Your network will only be as secure as its least secure device. Make sure all devices you use support WPA2 encryption. Use a strong encryption key. Make sure that it is longer than 10 characters and contains a mixture of capital and small letters, numbers and symbols. Avoid using words that are relatable for others to decode.
CHANGE DEFAULT SSID :              The SSID (or Wireless Network Name) of your Wireless Router is usually pre-defined as “default” or is set as the brand name of the router (e.g., linksys). This setting is usually under the basic wireless settings in your router’s settings page. Once this is set, you will always be sure that you are connecting to the correct Wireless network even if there are multiple wireless networks in your area. Wi-Fi scanning tools like inSSIDer (Windows) and Kismet (Mac, Linux) are free and they will allow anyone to find all the available Wireless Networks in an area without the SSID name being visible.
CREATE A UNIQUE USER NAME ON YOUR ROUTER :                            Once you have logged into your router, the first thing you should do to secure your network is to change the default password of the router to something more secure.
This will prevent others from accessing the router and you can easily maintain the security settings that you want. This is a public database of default usernames and passwords of wireless routers, modems, switches and other networking equipment. For instance, anyone can easily make out from the database that the factory-default settings for Linksys equipment can be accessed by using admin for both username and password fields.
ENABLE MAC ADDRESS FILTER ON YOUR ROUTER:                           Media Access Control or MAC address identifies each device connected to your network. MAC address is an alphanumeric key separated by colons. Enabling this would allow selected users with the chosen MAC address to have access to your wireless network. To find the MAC address of your computer, open command prompt and execute “ipconfig /all” without quotes.
While it may prevent inexperienced users from getting access to your network, an experienced hacker can determine the MAC address of your device wireless using a sniffing tool like Nmap and he can then change the MAC address of his own computer using another free tool like MAC Shift.
CHECK CONNECTED DEVICES : Almost every new router will have a page which displays the list of every device that is connected to the network. You should check this page at regular intervals to see that unknown devices are not leeching your network. When you see an unknown device, you can sure take some action for further problems. You can try AirSnare, a free utility which scans your network for unexpected MAC addresses and also looks into DHCP requests.
Other basic measures such as turning the router completely off while it is not to be used for a longer period, reducing the wifi accessibility range, use of scary wifi named to prevent wifi theft, and keeping the firmware up to date are possible steps to secure your wireless networks.                Following such techniques would give the hackers a tough time decoding your WiFi for their malicious activities or any other theft. It would keep your wireless connection more than protected and secure.

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