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Secure Your WiFi in 7 Steps

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By: Hemang Doshi

February 22, 2016

Secure Your WiFi in 7 Steps - Cybrary

Secure Your WiFi in 7 Steps

If the first question that comes to mind after reading the topic of this post is ‘Why do I need to secure my WiFi?’, then read on... What are the risks of using an unsecured wireless network?In simple language, it's like going for a trip without locking your house. Anyone one can enter your house anytime and do anything they wish.Your connection can be enjoyed by anyone for free and consider yourself lucky if intruders are your neighbors with intention of saving a few bucks (as it may cost you only some additional bandwidth charges and, at the most, slowing down your surfing speed). However, if your connection is used for illegal downloading of music, movie or pornography, the result could be more serious.If you're unlucky, your unsecured internet connection can be used to commit crimes of a serious nature . A criminal who does not want to be caught can use your unsecured internet connection and, when it's traced back to the source, your connection will be reported as the scene of the crime. Here's a standard clause in many ISP contracts:CONTENT RESPONSIBILITY AND INTERNET SERVICE USE RESTRICTIONSClient acknowledges and agrees that it is solely responsible for the Content of its transmissions which pass through the Internet Connection Service. Client also agrees it will not use the Internet Connection Service:1. for illegal purposes;2. to transmit threatening, obscene or harassing materials, or3. to interfere with or disrupt other network users, network services or network equipment. In nutshell, you're responsible for activities done through your connection. Also, once an intruder enters your network, they can have access to your data/records and spy your online activities.Please note that the steps mentioned below are much much easier to implement (rather than defending your innocent self in court of law :-)It's very simple to make your WiFi connection secure, which will prevent others from stealing your internet and prevent attackers from taking control of your computers. Below are some simple steps to surf safely:(1) Take Control of your Router Through a Unique Password:
  • Login to your wireless router
  • Open Internet Explorer and type in the address or (Most routers will have or as the default Router IP address). This is the address you'd enter into your browser's address bar to access the router configuration page.)
  • If you can't access it through  or, there's no need to worry. We'll manually find your Router’s Address:
    • Go to Start
    • search for CMD
    • give command ‘ipconfig’
    • The efault Gateway is your Router’s IP Address
 If you don’t have user ID and password, don't worry. We might be able to figure out your credentials (provided you have not changed them earlier.)Your user ID and password should be:Five characters. All lower case. 1st alphabet, then 4th alphabet, then 13th alphabet, then 12th alphabet then 14th alphabet.Making it simple for you:User ID- admin/Password-adminOrUser ID- admin/Password-(Blank)If it’s not working for you, please Google the default user ID/password for your router/service provider. (2) Change Your USER ID and Password Immediately:
  • Go to settings
  • User settings
  • Update your credentials
 (3) MAC Filtering:Every Machine (PC/Laptop/Mobiles) has a unique identification number. That is known as Media Access Control (MAC) address. Through this control, you allow access to only selected devices. Any other device trying to access you network will be rejected by your router.Identify the MAC Addresses

MAC of PC/Laptop:

-Go to Start

-Search for CMD

-Give the command ‘getmac’

-The Physical Address is your MAC address


MAC of Mobile:

-Go to Settings

-Select ‘About Device’ (About Phone)

-Select Status

-Scroll down to WiFi MAC Address to see your MAC Address

 (4) Update Your MAC Addresses:Go to Settings/Security/MAC Filter/Enable MAC Address Filtering and update the MAC addresses you want access.You can also use Black-list to specifically reject some MAC addresses. (5) Disable SSID:SSID is kind of floating of RFP (Request for Proposal). You can name it RFH (Request for Hacking). A Service Set Identifier (SSID) is the wireless network name broadcast by a router and visible for all wireless devices. When a wireless device searches the area for wireless networks, it will detect the SSID.I don’t see any need for such open broadcasts, unless you want to promote your WiFi (in the cases of hotels/restaurants/lounges/malls etc). To disable broadcasts, go to WiFi Profiles, look for SSID Broadcast and select the Disable option. (6) Enable Encryption:Encryption helps to scrambles information we send into a code, so it’s difficult for other to access. Using encryption is the effective way to secure your network from intruders.There are two main types of encryption are available for this purpose: WiFi Protected Access (WPA) and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). WPA 2 is the strongest encryption standard for wireless connections as of today. (7) Monitor Your Network:There are many wireless network monitoring tools available. Some are free and very reliable. Netcut and whoisonmywifi are good ones. Through such tools, you can monitor and perform easy analysis for devices joining and exiting your network. They helps to keep your WiFi safe, secure, and running smoothly. Please contact me with any queries/concerns/suggestions at by CA.Hemang Doshi, FIII,CISA.
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