An unprotected home broadband network allows malicious individuals to steal your data, leech off of your Internet connection and generally make your life miserable. Even if you think your network is secure, you may be dreadfully wrong.
Below are a number of steps that you can take to learn how to secure your home broadband network.
1. Hide Your Wireless Router
If you have a wireless router, then it’s important that you secure it. This will not only slow down people who want to steal your data, but it may also make your network appear as invisible as a ghost to them.
To “hide” your wireless network, you need to do two things. The first involves changing your network’s SSID, which is what your computer refers to your wireless router as when you try to connect to it. The factory default names can sometimes be guessed, which renders the next step less effective than it should be.
Next, you should stop your computer from broadcasting the SSID. This will make your network appear invisible to all but the most determined of hackers. The only downside to this is that you will manually need to enter the SSID you chose when you set up a wireless connection.
2. Secure Your Network Router
Most people have their ISP set up their router and then forget about it. This leaves them vulnerable to attacks that focus on the factory settings of the device, such as the WEP key and SSID.
In this step, you should change the WEP or WPA key of your router to something random and unique. You should avoid easy keys that anyone can guess, which includes keys generated by online utilities.
The last step to securing your network router involves changing the login credentials. As explained earlier, factory and ISP default settings are one of the easiest ways for a hacker to gain access to your router. Change both the username and password you use to login to your router.
4. Enable MAC Address Filtering
One way to secure your network is by dictating what devices can connect to it. Using MAC address filtering, you can do just that.
A MAC address is a special type of identification that is unique to every device connecting to a network.
While this method will keep most people from connecting to your network, determined hackers can spoof their MAC address to that of another computer connected to your network.
5. Disable Remote Login to Your Router Via Wireless
To ensure that your router stays secure, you can make it so that only people with physical access to your router can alter settings. This is done by disabling remote logins to your router from wireless connections.
The downside of this security measure is that you will have to connect to your router using a wired connection if you ever need to adjust a setting.
6. Secure Network Devices with Firewalls and Anti-Malware Software
The last thing you need to secure with regards to your network involves the devices used to access it. They can leak details that make it possible for hackers to access your network as easily as it would be if you network wasn’t secured at all.
Both hardware and software firewalls work to restrict outside access to your network. You can use one type of firewall or both.
You also need to ensure that malicious applications can’t install themselves on your devices and compromise the security of your network. Antivirus software and other anti-malware software will help ensure that malicious software is rendered ineffective.