7 Steps to Stronger Wireless Security

At home, you protect your family with locks, lights, and other precautions. With today's increasing occurrences of identity theft, it is helpful to think of your wireless network security as a part of that same important system.

When you set up your network, or at your earliest convenience, review your wireless user manual to make sure you know how it works. Then follow these seven simple steps to strengthen your home wireless network defenses:

  1. Create a unique Service Set Identifier (SSID) – essentially the “address” that identifies your wireless connection. Hackers know the most commonly used SSIDs, so changing it from the default version will help thwart their efforts.
  2. Change the wireless password regularly, using a strong combination of letters and numbers to deter system hacking.
  3. Disable the Broadcast option from your SSID features options. SSID Broadcast helps cyber-crooks find your wireless connection and gain unauthorized access to the network.
  4. Enable the encryption feature so that only your intended recipients can access the information you send.
  5. Disable File and Print Share features to limit information criminals' ability to steal data or commandeer resources should they bypass encryption.
  6. Secure your wireless access point to reduce the opportunity for others to access your network. If possible, use directional antennas to direct broadcasting inward. Radio signals are visible to others trying to use your network. 
  7. Use Media Access Control (MAC) Address filtering to prevent or permit specific PCs to access your wireless network.

These suggestions should reduce the likelihood of security breaches but do not guarantee total wireless security. Guard your information carefully and know what to do in the event that your wireless network is hacked.