Basic Tips for Protecting Your Wireless Network

You can call us the "Anti-Hackers"

Setting up a Wi-Fi security wall isn't an overly difficult process, but it is an important one. Unlike some passwords (such as Gmail or Yahoo mail accounts), you'll want to keep a relatively close eye on your wireless internet connection and its security. You'll also want to change out the password from time to time, which makes it more difficult to crack.

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**Caption: Believe it or not, Wi-Fi security is more important than protecting Gmail

Before we provide steps necessary for constructing an almost impermeable wall, here are a few fundamentals you should remember about securing your home Wi-Fi network:

Use WPA instead of WEP.

  • WPA uses 256 bit encryption, which is much more difficult to crack than WEP's [WEP]maximum protection of 128 bits.
  • In addition, WPA [WPA], while not perfect, constantly generates new encryption keys, meaning there's always a new password suggestion to prevent a hacker from catching on.

Take your name off the billboard.

  • Don't take us literally. No highway has a picture of you flashing your Wi-Fi key towering above it, but when you leave the name of your network available, you might as well be doing just that. The SSID, or Service Set Identifier, displays your network name to anyone within a short distance of your Access Point.
  • When you disable the SSID, you terminate the ability of anyone in the neighborhood from seeing that you own and use a Wi-Fi network.

**Caption: Take your name off the billboard. Hide your SSID

Change your password, often.

Granted, it might be more difficult for you to remember a password if you use something a) abstract or b) new every month, but in the end it'll be worth it. Simply place a notepad on the fridge, and at the end of every month change you code. Write down the new password so that everyone (including yourself) can remember it. Since you're not protecting yourself from anyone in the home (at least, we hope you're not), this measure is quick and painless.

Although most internet sites dedicated to writing about Wi-Fi networks and their protection will assure you that there's no method that is completely safe, by implementing a number of the ideas we've discussed here, the chances of being burned go down significantly.

After all, are we really secure in anything we do?