Wireless network has become one of the weakest security links in IT infrastructure in recent times. Many security incidents have been linked to weak configuration of the Wi-Fi router at home / office. This article gives a checklist of 7 basic steps to secure your Wi-Fi router.
- Change the default username and password provided along with the wireless router that is being used for the wireless connection.
- Disable SSID broadcast. SSID is the name that identifies the wireless network. If it is not possible to disable the SSID at least change the SSID to an unfamiliar name which does not make any meaning.
- Enable PSK or WPA2 (preferably 128 bit) encryption in your router.
- In the MAC filter feature of your router, include the MAC address (not the IP but the physical address of your network interface card) of your laptop or PC. This way other rouge devices cannot join your network.
- If the router has a firewall application, enable it. Where separate firewall applications are not installed, personal firewall should be enabled in the laptop. Most antivirus software come with firewall software also. There are also open source free firewall software available in the internet.
- Change the default IP address provided by the wireless service provider to a random IP. However, ensure that only the last 2 segments of the IP address are changed. If the default IP of the router is given as 192.168.1.1, the IP can be changed to 192.168.xxx.xxx.
- Switch off your router as well as the Bluetooth connection in your laptop whenever not in use.
The above steps provide a base level security to your wireless connections and get you started in your endeavor to secure your wireless networks.