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How to secure a wireless network

How to secure a wireless networkNetworking makes it easy to share Internet access and data. But you wouldn't want to share your information with just anyone. With a wireless network, your information is travelling through the airwaves not physical wires, so anyone within range can "listen in" on your network. Here are four essential security measures you should take to secure your wireless network.

Change the default SSID

Your wireless devices have a default SSID set by the factory. The SSID is the name of your wireless network, and it can be anything you wish. Linksys wireless products use Linksys as the default SSID. Hackers know these defaults and can try them to join your network. Change the network's SSID to something unique, and make sure it doesn't refer to the networking products you use.

As an added precaution, be sure to change the SSID on a regular basis, so any hacker who may have figured out your network's SSID in the past will have to figure out the SSID again and again. This will deter future intrusion attempts.

Disable SSID broadcast

By default, most wireless networking devices are set to broadcast the SSID, so anyone can easily join the wireless network. But hackers will also be able to connect, so unless you're running a public hot-spot, it's best to disable SSID broadcast.

Change the default password needed to access a wireless device

For wireless products such as access points and routers, you will be asked for a password when you want to change their settings. These devices have a default password set by the factory.(The Linksys

default password is admin.) Hackers know these defaults and will try them to access your wireless device and change your network settings. To thwart any unauthorised changes, customise the device's password so it will be hard to guess.

Enable MAC address filtering

If your wireless products such as access points and routers offer it, enable MAC address filtering. The MAC address is a unique series of numbers and letters assigned to every networking device. With MAC address filtering enabled, wireless network access is provided solely for wireless devices with specific MAC addresses. This makes it harder for a hacker to access your network using a random MAC address.