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How To Secure Wi-Fi Networks Effectively From Hackers – A Complete Guide

Wireless security is specifically created to keep unauthorized users from accessing your Wireless Network and stealing sensitive information. The type of Wireless security that an individual uses is identified by its wireless protocol.

Today, numerous homes and companies operate and rely on Wireless Networking. Wi-Fi is incredibly efficient in keeping users connected to the internet on a 24-hour basis every day of the week. The aforementioned benefit, coupled with the fact that it comes without a clutter of cables makes Wireless Networking even more attractive.

There is another side to it, however, since Wi-Fi signals can be broadcast beyond the walls of a home or a company. This means that Wi-Fi is vulnerable to hackers; increasing easy access by people in neighboring houses or even individuals in a nearby parking lot. This is where the importance of ensuring strong wireless security comes in.

You may be wondering what the danger, if at all any, of other individuals accessing your Wi-Fi is. Well, there are a number of dangers to a vulnerable Wireless Network. For instance, hackers will be able to access personal information, steal your identity, and use it against you. There have been cases where individuals have ended up in jail for a crime they did not commit via the internet.

When other people can access your Wi-Fi, chances are your monthly bill will skyrocket. Additionally, other people using your Wi-Fi connection without your permission will slow down internet access speed considerably. In today’s digital era, where the Internet happens to be a place that harbors unscrupulous individuals, Wi-Fi security cannot be understated.

It’s not difficult to secure your Wi-Fi at all. In this article, we will guide you on how to secure Wi-Fi network effectively, and safeguard yourself and every other user in your home or business from hacking. The first step is to consider the type of security your Wi-Fi is.

What Type of Security is Your WiFi?

The first step on how to secure Wi-Fi networks from unauthorized users is by checking the type of security your Wi-Fi uses.

Notably, there are at least four Wireless protocols, which include:

  • The Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
  • The Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
  • The Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA 2)
  • The Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA 3)

Before we can take an in-depth look into the above mentioned wireless protocols, it is essential that you learn to identify the type of Wireless security that you use. Remember that your wireless network type will either be WEP, WPA, WPA2 or WPA3. Below are the steps on how to check the type of wireless security that you use:

  • Go to Wi-Fi connection settings on your phone
  • On the list of available networks, look for your specific wireless network
  • Click on it so that you can access the network configuration
  • The network configuration should indicate the type of wireless security you use
  • If you cannot complete  the above-mentioned steps on your phone, then consider trying to access the Wi-Fi settings on your wireless router
  • If you’re having trouble, please contact your internet service provider for further assistance

However, an easier way to check for encryption is by using an app known as NetSpot, which is considered the best in the industry. After you’ve identified the type of security your Wi-Fi is, you need to ensure that it is using an effective wireless protocol.

What Are The Wireless Security Protocols?

Wireless protocols are designed to protect wireless networks used within homes and other types of buildings from hackers and unauthorized users. As previously mentioned, there are four wireless security protocols, each varying in strength and ability. Wireless protocols also encrypt private data as it is being broadcast over the airwaves. This, in turn, protects your private data from hackers and inadvertently protects you.

Below is an in-depth look at the type of wireless protocols that everyone should know about:

  • The Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP): This is the first wireless security protocol ever developed. Even though it was designed in 1997, it is still in use today. Regardless, it is considered the most flawed and least secure wireless security protocol to use.
  • The Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA): This wireless security protocol precedes the WEP. Hence, it is designed to deal with the flaws that are found with the WEP protocol. Notably, it uses the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) and preshared key (PSK), among others, for encryption.
  • The Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA 2): The WPA 2, a successor to WPA, comes with enhanced features and encryption abilities. For instance, the WPA 2 uses  Counter Mode Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP) instead of (TKIP).  This replacement feature is known to be efficient in encrypting data. Hence, WPA 2 is considered the best wireless security protocol.
  • The Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA 3): This one is a recent wireless protocol. It is enhanced in terms of encryption abilities and keeping hackers at bay from both private and public networks.

With the above information in mind, it would be best to ensure that your Wireless protocol is either WPA 2 or WPA 3. If it isn’t, you can easily change your Wi-Fi protocol to WPA 2. Never use WEP to encrypt your wireless network since its very weak and non-efficient at best.

Now, with all the above in mind, below are the top WiFi Security Tips.

  • Check for Rogue Wi-Fi Access Points: Rogue access points are a massive security risk since they provide a way in for hackers. The best way is to carry out a Wi-Fi site survey in your home or company building. The best app to use for this is the NetSpot app. This app not only detects rogue access points but gets rid of them effectively.
  • Strengthen Your Wi-Fi Encryption: in order to strengthen your Wi-Fi encryption, you need to identify your Wireless protocol as we saw above. Using NetSpot will help identify your type of encryption.
  • Secure WPA 2 Password: Change your WPA 2 password to something inconspicuous. To ensure that your password is strong, use different characters and numbers.
  • Hide Network Name: Your service set identifier, or SSID, is often set to broadcast the name of your wireless network. This increases your vulnerability. You can easily change to “hidden”, making it hard for anyone to connect to it if they do not know then name of your wireless network.

You can also learn here the complete Wireless Penetration Testing checklist

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Priya James: PRIYA JAMES is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Certified Ethical Hacker, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Author at GBHackers On Cyber Security

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