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WiFi Security Guide for home or small business



Is your home or business wireless network secure? Its a question everyone has to ask themselves.

If it is not secure then is someone else using your network to browse the internet, download large files or using it for illegal activity?

Here are the top tips to secure your WiFi network

   1. Change your router's access name and password.
   2. Stop broadcasting your router's network ID.
   3. Change the default network ID (SSID)
   4. Turn on wireless data encryption.
   5. Turn off wireless cards and routers when not in use

OK to the standard home user the above might as well be written in Japanese, but lets go through each one. You will need the router manual to complete these tasks as you will need the details of how to connect to the Router's Administration screens.

1. Change your routers's access name and password
Why change the router's access name and password? Most come with a default name and password which is the same for all router's by the manufacturer. Plus as

the WiFi router will probably have the manufacturers name in the network ID (SSID) then someone could hack into your WiFi network in seconds.

Unfortunately I can't give you exact screens to use as each router is different but usually you can change it under a security option. Once changed you will

probably need to log in again.

REMEMBER: Always make a note of the access name and password and keep it somewhere safe.

2. Stop broadcasting your routers network ID (SSID)
If this is turned on then your router is shouting out to all Wireless devices around you that it is here. This is useful for connecting devices to your network but once connected, TURN IT OFF. Again this can be completed by the router administration screens.

3. Change the default network ID (SSID)
The SSID can be accessed from within these products' Web-based or Windows-based configuration utilities. Common examples of pre-defined SSIDs are simple names like "wireless," "netgear," "linksys," or "default." An SSID can be changed at any time, as long as the change is also made on all wireless clients.

To improve the security of your home wireless network, change the SSID to a different name than the default. Here are some recommended do's and dont's, based on best network security practices:

    * Don't use your name, address, birthdate, or other personal information as part of the SSID.
    * Likewise, don't use any of your Windows or Internet Web site passwords.
    * Don't tempt would-be intruders by using tantalizing network names like "SEXY-BOX" or "TOP-SECRET".
    * Do pick an SSID that contains both letters and numbers
    * Do choose a name as long or nearly as long as the maximum length allowed.
    * Do consider changing your SSID every few months.

4.Turn on wireless data encryption.
OK so now I really am talking in another language. Basically if you have data encryption turned off then all data passed between your wireless device and the router is unencrypted and if someone in your area knew what to do they can read all data (credit card details etc). This article by Microsft should explain it

5. Turn off wireless cards and routers when not in use
Simple, if it isn't switched on then no-one can use it.


Also see Wireless Internet Help



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