Have an Insecure Wireless Router? Here’s How to Lock It

Have an Insecure Wireless Router? Here's How to Lock It

Although wireless routers are a blessing for Internet users, they create a plethora of risks if they are left unlocked. In addition to having a slower connection, individuals with malicious intentions can easily gain access to your network when it is not secured.

In order to ensure you are safeguarding your computer and Internet activity from unwanted guests, it is necessary to use the following tips to lock down your insecure wireless router sooner rather than later.

Set Your Approved Devices List

An easy way to boost security of your wireless router is to establish (and maintain) a list of devices that are allowed to access your network. Your mobile phone, tablet, and laptop have unique MAC addresses that can be used to allow access, even when the password is not known. Devices that are not on the approved list will not be able to gain access to your network, even if they have uncovered the password. This helps secure your network from unwanted guests.

Encrypt your Password

Even novice Internet users know that password encryption is a smart move if you want to keep your connection safe and secure. In order to encrypt the password connected to your wireless router, you need to set the wireless security to WPA2 under the settings prompt. This allows you to establish a stronger password that utilizes a random combination of letters, characters and numbers that is far more difficult for intruders to dismantle.

Disable Guest Networks

It is common for wireless routers to come with an additional wireless network intact, known as a guest network. This additional network allows users the ability to share an Internet connection with other users without needing to provide the password for the main network or access to shared files on your personal connection. Although this may be of benefit to a business who offers wireless Internet to its customers, it is not necessarily a perk for home users. In an effort to keep your wireless router secure, it is beneficial to disable the guest network when you install your router.

Turn off Broadcasting

For the majority of wireless routers available on the market today, users have the ability to turn off broadcasting to unauthorized users. For example, when connecting a device to the Internet through your wireless router, you typically see a number of SSIDs, names, or wireless connections listed under the available networks. Although it is helpful for you to know the name of your own personal connection, it is beneficial to turn off broadcasting to surrounding Internet users so that they are not able to view your connection in that listing. Under your router settings, simply deselect “Enable SSID Broadcast” to turn it off.

Although this list is not exhaustive, it does provide a starting point to ensuring your wireless router is safe and secure. To keep hackers and other intruders at bay, make sure to disable broadcasting, turn off access to your guest network if it is not necessary, establish a list of approved devices and keep it current, and consider encrypting your password.

Photo Credit: Life-Of-Pix, Cloned Milkmen

5 comments

  1. Isn’t it true that even with SSID Broadcast turned off, hackers can figure it out by intercepting a relatively small number of packets?

    • Yes, it is possible. As mentioned in the article, the method listed is not exhaustive and provide a starting point to secure your router.

      • Actually, it makes your clients more insecure and easy for a hacker to take over. So you should not turn of SSID broadcasting, as it is counter productive.

        What happens is that the client when it want to connect to a WLAN AP, it starts to broadcast and ask if the AP that have turned of SSID broadcasting is near. So of you turn on your computer on a Caffé, a Black Hat near could have his little computer answering your computer, pretending to be your AP.

        Yes, it has been demonstrated, with instructions how to do it, on some Video Blogs. So please stop give that as an example. It makes it harder for your legitimit users and actually lower security.

        About white list MAC addresses, that is also mostly just make it harder for your legitimit users and not a big problem for hackers.

        If you want to make your AP securer, this is what you shold do:

        Turn on WPA-2 and most important, turn off WPA and WEP. With WEP you can as well do without password. And if you have WPA turned on, you might as well turn off WPA-2, as the device connecting will use either of them. And when WPA is broken, you have no benefits from WPA-2.

        Make the password harder to guess, and you might hash (encrypt) a password. But that usually just makes it harder for your legitimit users, just make an non word password made up by a phrase and some character substitution. And change it once or twice a year.

        If guest network doesn’t have WPA-2, turn it off. If not, it might be good to separate your main network from guests.

        And turn on IPv6 tunnel in your router. No, it is no security benefit, but will give you a go into the future. ;-).

  2. I am going to guess that this article was copy pasted from that late 90’s or early 2000’s

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Stories