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Tips to Secure Your Wireless Router

Last Updated: Fri, 22 Apr 2011 > Related Articles

Summary

Use these tips to help you secure your wireless connection.

Solution

Wireless networks have become increasingly popular and for good reason; they can be very easy to set up and you don’t have to worry about running any wires in your office. However, wireless routers can be a potential security risk if you do not take the necessary steps to secure them. Here are some tips to help you secure your wireless connection.

Note: Since every router is different, consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to implement any of these suggestions. 

ActionDescription
Change your admin username and passwordThe first thing you should do before you hookup your wireless router or device to the Internet is to change the default password and username. Most companies post the default username and password on their website, so anyone could gather this info and log in your router.
Disable remote admin accessThis is a tough one to do, since you may need to make changes to your router when you are home or traveling. However, you can be assured that the casual hackers will by-pass your router if this service is disabled.
Enable WEP or WPA encryptionWhen using WEP or WPA, a user must have the correct encryption key to connect to your wireless network. Also, data transmitted over the network is encrypted so anyone trying to view your data, they would not be able to decipher it.
Change your SSIDAn SSID is the name of a wireless local area network (service set identifier). All wireless devices on a WLAN must employ the same SSID in order to communicate with each other. Your router comes with a default SSID. Change it to something that does not describe the manufacturer or model of your router.
Disable SSID broadcastingMost wireless routers broadcast their SSID to everyone. This makes it easy for someone driving by to detect your wireless network. Disable this feature.
Enable MAC address filteringEach network card has a unique number on it, the MAC address (Media Access Control). You can manually input the MAC address of each wireless network card into the configuration of your wireless router and then only these MAC addresses are allowed to connect to your network.
Block Port 25By blocking port 25, you would not be allowing anyone to send mail directly to an outbound mail server from your internet connection. This can assist in stopping a spammer from sending a large amount of email from your connection. A lot of mass mailing worms, such as NetSky, use the infected computers outbound email server via port 25. By blocking this port, it can assist in stopping the spread of viruses.
For those users that must send email, have them use the webmail interface provided by their email host or company. You may also allow your clients to use a VPN to connect to their companies network and send and receive mail.



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