If you’ve got a wireless router to let you use your laptop anywhere in your house or your office, there are some things you need to do to make sure it’s not accessible to anyone within range.
Even if you don’t really care if someone else uses your connection to get internet access, you need to keep in mind that if they can connect to your wireless signal, they might also be able to hack into your computer and read anything on it.
When you set up your wireless router it will have a default password. Anyone else with the same brand will have the same one, so the first things you should do is change the password for logging into the router setup.
The router also works on a particular channel. Most routers are preset to channel 6 – you should change to a different channel to keep it more secure.
The router also broadcasts a “name” called the SSID. This will depend on the brand of your router, but it’s a good idea to change it to something unique so it’s not so easily recognized.
If you rarely have anyone new connecting to your wireless signal, you can also turn on MAC filtering if your router supports it. This is a little more complicated, so you might need to speak to your computer support person to do this for you.
MAC filtering will only allow access for specific computers that you have entered into a list in the router setup. This will stop unknown users from connecting.
The last thing you should turn on to make your connection more secure is wireless encryption. There are two types – WPA and WEP. WPA is a much more secure option so unless you have some older equipment that doesn’t support it, this is the best one to use.
The exact way to do these things will depend on your brand of router, so check your manual for the specific instructions.