Wi-Fi security is not always at the top of our priorities when we need to send work urgently via email or communicate with a friend online. It is a common misconception that having details stolen by a hacker is rare and unlikely to happen to us. However, when running a small business, it is our responsibility to keep our client's confidential data safe and to prevent a virus from spreading to them.
Hackers achieve more than using your internet for free. They can monitor, record and intercept valuable details, such as customer information, passwords, financial records and private data. You could also find yourself in serious trouble and facing legal action if hackers use your open wireless network to engage in illegal activity. Therefore, it is vital that you protect yourself, your family and customers by securing your Wi-Fi connection, but how?
Set up a firewall
Firewalls are highly effective against attacks, which is why many routers have a built-in firewall that blocks any suspicious activity when monitoring incoming and outgoing data. Packet filtering is employed by the firewall and this monitors the source and destination addresses when viewing the header of the packet to determine if it is legitimate and to deal with it accordingly. Software firewalls provide more thorough protection because they not only monitor the destination of data, but also can govern which applications are being used and limit their ability to send and receive data when required. The software firewall will also check with the user if it is unsure about the legitimacy of a specific program which provides them with more autonomy.
Utilise WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy)
WEP is not considered the most secure method of wireless encryption because it is easy to hack. WEP is the oldest and simplest form of wireless encryption which only requires the user to create a password using 0-9 and A-Z and which is 10 to 58 digits in length. Even though this method is not the most protective, it is still better than forgoing encryption entirely. Some older systems only support WEP and, in those instances, it is best that you use this method.
Update to WPA and WPA2
WPA and WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) were created in response to the weaknesses shown in WEP and, therefore, are thought to provide better security. These updated versions are currently the most widely used in wireless networks. Passphrases and passwords are used together to safeguard networks. Passphrases are more difficult to decipher than passwords because they can include symbols, such as the “at” and pound signs, as well as incorporating spaces.
Encrypt your network
You can encrypt your network by creating a passphrase or password that is complex and cannot be guessed easily. Encryption is considered the most important way to protect your network because it scrambles the data transmitted to your router as well as the information sent from it. This heightens security because it guarantees that the network information is unreadable to outsiders. Some forms of encryption may be safer than others so it is important that you consider them wisely.
Safeguard your router
Changing the settings of your router helps to prevent unauthorised access to your wireless network. You can achieve this by changing the router's default network ID, access name and password. It is also important that the router's network ID is not broadcast because it makes it more susceptible to hacking. Creating a separate wireless network for your clients or customers as well as enabling MAC authentication for the users of your Wi-Fi are two more effective ways to safeguard data.
It is vital that protecting your Wi-Fi network is high on your agenda. Customers and clients expect your professional business to safeguard their details and it is your responsibility to uphold these standards. Securing your Wi-Fi does not have to be difficult but will make a considerable difference to the integrity of your business.
If you would like more information about WiFi security for businesses in Redditch, Birmingham and the entire West Midlands, contact us today.