3 Steps to Securing Your Wireless Router

Secure wireless router

Most noobies with a wireless router in their house have no idea whether or not their wireless network is secure. And while I could sit here and write a bunch of complicated steps on how to secure the router, I think everything really boils down to these 3 basic steps.

wireless router

1. Don’t use an obvious wireless network name.

If you don’t want people to know which wireless network belongs to you, then don’t use something obvious like your last name as your wireless network name. Use your favorite breakfast cereal or your favorite fruit. Heck, I’ve even seen people name their wireless networks after something that scares people like “Connect To This And Get a Virus”. Be creative!

2. Assign a password to your wireless network.

While most people will never get hacked through their wireless network, there’s no good reason not to secure your network with a password. I mean, even if you live in a safe neighborhood, you lock your doors at night, right? Bonus tip: Don’t use a password that you use anywhere else. Down the road, you may want to share your wireless network password with a house guest.

3. Secure the wireless router itself.

I see this one everywhere. People secure their wireless network with a password but leave the actual wireless device wide open. Yes, your wireless device itself has a username and password and it is usually assigned one by default from the factory. And the default is the same for every other person with the same device. Do yourself a favor. Find the change password function and select, at a minimum, a new password. And again, this should be a different password than the one chosen in step 2 above.

2 Comments

  1. step 2.5 – I usually suggest people write down the SSID (the name) of the network and its password as its not something they will use often, most likely since they will probably have their computers save it.  2 years down the road when they get a new laptop they have no idea.  Some people may argue with me on this point, but I usually have people write this information on the bottom of the router (or post-it note or something).  This requires someone to have physical access to the device to get on your network… if they have physical access and they shouldnt then you already have issues.

    step 3.5 you probably want to document this password as well, but unlike 2.5 I’d NOT recomend you put this password on the bottom of the router.  Perhaps on the manual in the file cabinet where you keep all your tech manuals.

  2. @asudduth – Great suggestion on writing down the SSID. I usually suggest names that are obvious to the owner so I never thought of that. But I constantly see the “2WIRE” networks everywhere and I could see how it would be tough to remember which “2WIRE” is your own.

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