Cyber Security Tip #6 – Protecting Your Home Network

Many of us have home wireless networks.  Unfortunately many of us don’t take the appropriate steps to secure them properly.

You might think, “Oh, I don’t care if someone uses my Internet connection.”  Well, you should.  While a strangers taking up a portion of your bandwidth may not worry you, the fact that they have open access to every computer on your network should.  It’s like leaving the front door of your home wide open for someone to walk in.

Here are some basic tips to make your home wireless network more secure:

  • Use password protection!  Don’t use the default password a product may provide, as anyone familiar with your home wireless router brand will easily guess it.
  • Turn on the highest level of WEP/WPA encryption you can!  This scrambles the traffic between your computer and your wireless router.  What level of protection you choose depends on what your wireless devices are capable of, so find the highest common denominator and use it.
  • Change the SSID (i.e., the name of your wireless network).  Don’t keep the default name of your wireless router, as your neighbors may have the same one.  Keeping your default name also makes your network appear “less secure” to hackers.  It gives the impression that if you don’t know how to change the name, it’s probably not that secure either.
  • Suppress the SSID from being broadcast.  Once all of your devices are connected to your home network, why continue to advertise it is there and make it a target?
  • Position your wireless router toward the center of your home.  That way you get the best coverage and minimize signal leakage to the outside world.

These are just a few basic tips to better secure your home network environment.  More detailed information can also be found in this excellent article:

Be safe out there.  😉

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