Whether you use a Wi-Fi for your home, small business or enterprise; it is very important that you secure it. However; many people fail to do so despite having several resources, tips and easy ways at their disposal. You can also adapt these resources to your organization’s or home size.
Here are 10 easy ways to secure your home or enterprise’s Wi-Fi:
1. Use WPA2 encryption
Wpa2 encryption or a WPA encryption can easily help you secure your home Wi-Fi. These are much better than WEP encryptions which hackers can easily access. WEP encryption can, however, keep out your neighbors and passer’s by easily. Some older devices do not support WPA2 and only allow WEP encryption. It is a good idea to know about these simple things. Talk to a network administrator who can explain the differences.
2. Enable MAC filtering
This is an easy way to keep intruders away from your wireless network. By allowing a white list of MAC addresses, you can allow only those in the list to access your Wi-Fi. However, this can be a pain in case you have frequent visitors who you wish to allow access to. Of all encryption types, MAC filtering is the easiest to set up though it is also the least secure. This is also not an option for medium sized enterprises as approving each MAC can be a significant administrative burden.
3. Disable SSID broadcasting
This is an easy way to secure your office or home Wi-Fi as it prevents your wireless network from being seen by other Wi-Fi users. (You also get to control whether to allow this option in the first place). Most network administrators however do not recommend this option. While it won’t keep serious hackers out of your system, it is definitely a great way of keeping nosy neighbors and free loaders out. While this option of securing your Wi-Fi is an easy one; it can complicate matters when you wish to add your own devices to the network. Therefore, it is a good option to know but you must also use it with encryption.
4. Install apps that warn you of hackers
Apps like Wi-Fi Inspector can show you if someone is connected to your network without your permission. It also shows you wired and wireless consoles, tablets, PCs, Smartphones etc connected on your network. Other tools like Who’s On My Wi-Fi are ideal for enterprises small and large as they show real time or point in time devices that joined or left your network. The best part about these tools is you can use them for small and large networks or organizations and can even make them work with your existing infrastructure.
5. Create a strong password
Even your WPA2 encryption can fail if you do not setup a strong password. You can set a simple, easy-to-remember password but make sure it contains at least one upper case letter, a special character and a number. The best part of using such a password is you hardly need remember it or enter it every day. Most smart devices will remember it for you and yet it can prevent hackers and neighbors from seeing your sensitive information or watching what you do online. Note that hackers can still use cloud based services to hack into your network, so it makes sense to select a strong password.
6. Certificate based authentication
For small or large organizations, it is a must to use certificate based authentication. This is important to prevent employees who leave your organization from using your credentials or sharing the password with others. Such an authentication is a great solution for securing enterprise Wi-Fi.
7. Use unique name for the network
Instead of using home or free Wi-Fi, or even your name; use a unique identity which won’t give away too much information.
8. Manage networks present on your devices
Often, we use networks when we travel or visit hotels etc. This may not seem like a big deal but for hackers, it still gives away a lot of information like where you travel or stay or do business. Once you are back, remove such profiles as they can give away a lot of sensitive information.
9. Follow security best practices
Apart from network security, you must also follow endpoint security, patches and other web security best practices. This way, even if hackers hack into your system, your sensitive information will still be protected.
10. Restrict traffic
If you get a lot of visitors/guests/consultants, you can consider offering separate network with strict limitations on what the guests can access. You can easily setup a hotspot registration portal without having too much of an administration efforts. For such networks, you can limit access to certain websites and prevent them from accessing corporate services.