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Secure a Wireless Network: How to Keep Yours Safe

Updated on December 16, 2009

Secure a wireless network with these 5 tips

The best way to protect your wireless network is to call in a professional. Following are some tips for do-it-yourselfers though who want to check to see if their wireless network is as safe as it could be.

Is Your Wireless Network Safe?


Use the following checklist to determine if it is as secure as it should be.


Network Safety Checklist: 5 Things to Pay Attention To


I. Encryption: This simply means that the only way to gain access to the data through the wireless network is through the correct system of encryption and a viable pass code. There are different methods of encryption available for wireless networks: WEP, WPA2 and WPA-PSK. Which one you use depends on your system.


The best thing to remember about encryption: use a password that is not easily guessed or associated with you in any way. For example, don’t use your birth date or address as a pass code.


II. Infrastructure Setup: Use “Access Point” as your infrastructure setup. This gives you more control over how your various devices connect.


III. Network Name: Like a pass code, choose a name that is not easily guessed. The more obscure, the better.


IV. Turn off SSID Broadcast: This adds another layer of protection because anyone trying to access your network must know the name of your network.


V. Administrator Username: Change this name and the pass code associated with it.

As an aside, you should change your password on a regular basis, eg, say every quarter or every six months. This is just standard PC security practice.


Unplug Wireless Router: If you’re going to be away, this is a good idea because it prevents freeloading, as discussed above. As an added measure of protection, you can also set up the time when the network may be accessed.


For example, if you work 8 to 5, you may set up the network so that it can only be accessed during those hours. This way, if you forget to unplug it, at least it won’t be able to be accessed while you’re away.


MAC Filtering: Your wireless router may or may not have this feature. But, if it does, use it. In essence, it prevents anyone from logging onto your wireless network without your permission.


Again, the best way to ensure that your wireless network is protected is to have at least an initial inspection by an expert. This will ensure that you have all the proper safeguards set up so that your wireless network remains safe and can be used only by those you want to use it.


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    • Jen's Solitude profile image

      Jen's Solitude 8 years ago from Delaware

      Great advice about wireless network security, thanks very much!