Thanks to Alan Tay for this good article on wireless security. Alan is a Software Engineer who specialized in IT security and programming. He is also the author of IT security column.
Wireless networks are becoming popular today and there are people, especially home users, who are switching from wired connection to wireless connection. For those who are using wireless network, it is possible for any outsider to connect into your network without you realizing it if proper wireless security practice is not applied. As a result, it is important to know how to secure a wireless network.
How to Secure your Wireless Network
1. Create a strong router administrator password – If a wireless router does not have a strong password and someone able to crack the password from the outside, the network security can be compromised. By letting the unauthorized outsider to have the authority to access the router administration settings, he can do so many things up to even take control of the entire network. As a result, it is not safe to use a weak password especially the default administrator credentials.
2. Change the SSID name – SSID name is the name of a wireless network. When connecting to any wireless network, the operating system will load the entire list of SSID names which are within the range of the person who connects. It is not advisable to use names such as street address, family name, and car registration number. In other words, any names that the attacker can guess where the SSID name comes from should be avoided. A good SSID name is important as it will make outsiders not able to tell where the wireless networks are from.
3. Enable network encryption – Every piece of data transferred around the network should be encrypted where it can be configured in the router settings. If the network is not encrypted, there is a possibility that someone will attempt a ‘Man in the Middle’ attack in the network. It is recommended to use Wireless Protect Access encryption or Wireless Protect Access II encryption.
4. Filter MAC address – Every electronic device comes with a unique MAC address. Filtering MAC address can ensure that only the specific device that the owner of a wireless network recognized is allowed to connect into the network.
5. Reduce wireless signal strength – There is no reason for wireless signal strength to be super strong unless the network is deployed in a mansion. Therefore it is advisable not to be so generous by offering free wireless network connection to all the people who do not live in your house. Routers today can come with very powerful signal strength and if the wireless network signal is just for a studio apartment size, he can reduce the strength by changing the mode from 802.11g to 802.11b.
and writes about computer security tips.