Wireless network connectivity has become an integral part of our daily lives, be it through your Home Network, or on your mobile device in a public location. However, public awareness regarding the privacy and security concerns relating to Wi-Fi access is greatly lacking. Recently, the dangers of Wi-Fi have been all over the news.
The coverage stems from the recent conviction of a man downloading underage pornography through his neighbor’s Wi-Fi network. Law enforcement agents stormed the home where the wireless network was broadcasting. However, they arrested the wrong man. After several days, the agents came to the realization that someone had indeed been using this man’s open wireless network for illegal activity. The story has been picked up by the Denver Post, and MSNBC as well as many other news outlets.
Highlighting the dangers of leaving your Network unsecured is extremely important. It is obviously convenient to broadcast a Wi-Fi network in your home, however, a lapse of security in this network can turn your world upside down. If someone connects through your network to commit illegal activity, you could be held legally responsible.
Here are four simple steps that could help you avoid these issues:
Step 1: Make Sure Your Network Has a Strong, Secure Password
The first step you can take is to make sure your network is password protected. A simple WEP protected network, with a password using your pet’s name or your favorite movie, may seem like enough security- there will be a lock when you view this network through your wireless connection properties. However, not all passwords are created equally.
An experienced user can hack WEP encryption with a quick download, a few minutes, and a bit of patience. Popular blog Lifehacker has a piece highlighting just how easily this can be done using a program called Backtrack. You should minimally upgrade your wireless network protection to at least WPA level, with a 64-bit or preferably 128-bit encrypted key.
Step 2: Add a VPN to Further Encrypt Your Network
If you are worried about liability due to security, the next step should be to tunnel your network traffic through a VPN. The easiest way to do this is to utilize a trusted, secure VPN service like Overplay VPN.
Step 3: Stop Broadcasting Your Network ID to the Public
This is a one click setting in your router that can exponentially increase your security. It allows you to broadcast a Wi-Fi network without allowing seekers to view your network publicly. Anyone who would like to access this wireless network must know the exact name of that network and the specific security key to access the connection.
Step 4: Make a Wireless Security Schedule
Frequently change your Wireless Network password- either every week, every few weeks, or at the least every month and stick to it. Make sure to regularly check that all your security measures are active. This is the best way to keep potential infiltrators at bay and dissuade them from trying to access your Network.
All of these tasks can be done in a matter of minutes unless you have an outdated router. Don’t be the next sucker with lax security to have your Internet history scoured by investigative law enforcement agents.
Security technology changes just as fast as computer and mobile technology. Many people upgrade their phones and computers and simply assume their old router will work fine. In truth an outdated router may lack the ability to appropriately secure your Wi-Fi .
It may be time to upgrade- whether to secure your connection, boost your wireless signal, or to settle connection issues with devices like an AppleTV, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or other devices coming in the near future.
All of the FlashRouters we sell make these security measures accessible and simple to apply. Finally, one of the main advantages of DD-WRT open-source firmware, which comes standard on FlashRouters, is the ability to integrate a VPN connection within your router.
FlashRouters – Encrypting Home Networks Worldwide.