Steps to Ensure the Security of Business and Home Network?

Feb 13, 2023 | Blog, How to

How to secure your Home Network through WPA-PSK

The widespread use of wireless networks has revolutionized how we connect to the internet. However, with this convenience comes the need to ensure that our personal and business Wi-Fi networks are secure. Cybercriminals and hackers are always looking for ways to exploit vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi networks to steal sensitive information or cause damage. It is important to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of our home and business networks. In this article, we will explore various measures that can be taken to secure a home or business Wi-Fi network.

 

How Does the Wi-Fi Network in My Home Work?

A home Wi-Fi network operates using a wireless router as the hub for all internet and network activities. The router connects to your internet service provider (ISP) via a modem, which provides the internet connection. Devices, such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and smart home devices, connect to the Wi-Fi network by searching for the network’s name (SSID) and entering the password. The wireless signals from the router are transmitted to these devices, providing internet access.

Data sent from the devices to the internet and vice versa is first transmitted to the router, which then routes it to the appropriate destination. The router also manages the flow of data between devices on the network. It provides security features, such as firewalls and encryption, to protect the network and its users.

 

What are the Threats to the Security of Your Home and Business Wi-Fi Network?

A home or business wireless network can be vulnerable to various security risks that can compromise personal information and sensitive data. Here are some common chances:

  1. Piggybacking: Piggybacking refers to unauthorized individuals accessing a Wi-Fi network using another person’s login credentials or network connection without their knowledge or consent. This can happen when a network is left open and unsecured, allowing anyone to connect and access the internet. To prevent piggybacking, you can use strong passwords, enable WPA2 encryption, and regularly change your passwords.
  2. Wardriving: Wardriving is the act of driving around in a vehicle equipped with a wireless device to search for Wi-Fi networks and collect information about them. This information can be used to access the network, steal personal data, or launch attacks. To prevent wardriving, you can use WPA2 encryption, change your WiFi network name (SSID) regularly, and enable MAC filtering to allow only authorized devices to access your network.
  3. Evil Twin Attacks: An evil twin attack is when a malicious individual creates a fake Wi-Fi access point with the same name as a legitimate network. When a user tries to connect to a fake network, the attacker can steal their personal information, monitor their internet activity, or infect their device with malware. To prevent evil twin attacks, be cautious of public Wi-Fi networks and only connect to networks you trust. You can also use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection.
  4. Wireless Sniffing: Wireless sniffing captures and analyses network traffic to gather sensitive information such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and other personal data. This attack is possible because Wi-Fi networks often use unencrypted data transmission methods. To prevent wireless sniffing, use WPA2 encryption and avoid accessing sensitive information on public Wi-Fi networks.
  5. Unauthorized Computer Access: Unauthorized computer access refers to the act of accessing another person’s computer or device without their permission. This can be done by exploiting vulnerabilities in the operating system, installing malware, or gaining access through a shared network. To prevent unauthorized computer access, use strong passwords, install antivirus software, and regularly update your operating system and software.
  6. Shoulder Surfing: Shoulder surfing is a type of eavesdropping where an attacker looks over the shoulder of someone to observe sensitive information such as login credentials, passwords, or other confidential data. This attack is often used in public places where Wi-Fi networks are accessible. To prevent shoulder surfing, be aware of your surroundings and cover your screen when entering sensitive information.
  7. Theft of Mobile Devices: Theft of mobile devices is a growing concern for users who store sensitive information on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. When a device is stolen, the thief can access personal data, financial information, and sensitive information stored on the device. To prevent theft of mobile devices, use strong passwords, encrypt your device, and regularly back up important data.
  8. Malware and viruses: Malware and viruses are malicious software programs that can infect your computer or device and cause harm, such as stealing personal information, slowing down your device, or displaying unwanted ads. To prevent malware and viruses, consider using at least no-cost ad blockers in addition to installing antivirus software, updating your operating system and software regularly, and exercising caution when downloading or installing software from the internet.
  9. Man-in-the-middle attacks: A man-in-the-middle attack occurs when an attacker intercepts communication between two parties and modifies or steals information being exchanged. This attack can be performed on unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, enabling the attacker to steal sensitive information such as login credentials, passwords, and financial information. To prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection, avoid accessing sensitive information on public Wi-Fi networks, and be cautious when using Wi-Fi hotspots.
  10. Rogue access points: A rogue access point is an unauthorized Wi-Fi access point that is connected to a network without the knowledge or consent of the network administrator. This can allow the attacker to monitor network traffic, steal personal information, or launch attacks on the network. To prevent rogue access points, regularly check for unauthorized access points, use WPA2 encryption, and enable MAC filtering to allow only authorized devices to access your network.
 

What Steps Can I Take to Ensure the Security of My Home Wi-Fi Network?

Securing a home Wi-Fi network is crucial in protecting personal and sensitive information from potential security threats. Here are the steps to help secure your home network:

  1. Encrypt Your Network: One of the most important steps in securing your home network is to encrypt your connection. The two main types of encryption are WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). WPA2 and WPA3 are the most secure options, and it is recommended to use them to encrypt your network. Note: If your router is older, it may only have WPA and WEP security options, which are no longer considered secure. To enhance your network’s security, try updating the router’s software. If the update does not bring WPA2 or WPA3 options, it might be time to invest in a new router to protect your information.
  2. Change Your Router’s Preset Passwords: Many routers come with preset passwords that are easily accessible by attackers. To avoid this, change the preset password to a strong, unique one that is not easily guessable. It is important to reset two key passwords to secure your router:
    • Wi-Fi network password: This is the password you use to connect your devices to the network. A strong and unique Wi-Fi network password helps keep unauthorized individuals from accessing your network.
    • Router admin password: This password provides access to the administrative side of the router, where you can make changes to settings, including the Wi-Fi network password. Suppose a hacker were to gain access to the admin side of your router. In that case, they could change the settings, potentially compromising the security of your network.
    • Note: To change the admin and Wi-Fi network passwords, determine your router’s manufacturer. Then, search online for “how to change [manufacturer] admin password” and “how to change [manufacturer] Wi-Fi network password” to find specific instructions. If you encounter any difficulties, don’t hesitate to contact the manufacturer for assistance.
  3. Keep Your Router Up-to-Date: Router manufacturers frequently release software updates that address security vulnerabilities. It is important to keep your router’s firmware up-to-date to protect your network.
  4. Turn Off “Remote Management,” WPS, and UPnP Features: Features such as remote management, WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup), and UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) can make your network vulnerable to attacks. It is recommended to turn off these features if they are not needed.
  5. Set Up a Guest Network: A separate guest network can help protect your main network from potential threats. This will allow visitors to use the internet without giving them access to your private network. Many routers can create a guest network with a different name and password, which offers several benefits. 
    • Firstly, having a separate login reduces the number of individuals accessing your primary Wi-Fi network password. 
    • Secondly, suppose a guest’s device has malware. In that case, the virus will not spread to your primary network and other devices since they are separate.
  6. Protect Your Devices: Use strong passwords on all devices connected to your network and ensure that their software is up-to-date to avoid security vulnerabilities.
  7. Restrict Access: Limit the number of devices that can connect to your network by using MAC filtering. This will prevent unauthorized devices from accessing your network.
  8. Protect Your Service Set Identifier (SSID): Your SSID is the name of your network and is broadcasted to all devices within range. To protect your network, change the default WiFi SSID and use a strong, unique name.
  9. Install a Firewall: A firewall is a barrier that protects your network from unauthorized access. It is important to install a firewall to help prevent cyber-attacks and unauthorized access to your network.
  10. Maintain Antivirus Software: Keep antivirus software up-to-date on all devices connected to your network to protect against malware and other threats.
  11. Use File Sharing with Caution: If you use file-sharing services, be cautious about the types of files that you download and share, as these can contain malware or other malicious software.
  12. Keep Access Point Software Patched and Up to Date: Regularly check for software updates for your access point to ensure that it is protected against the latest security threats.
  13. Check Provider or Router’s Wireless Security Options: Some routers have built-in security options, such as parental controls, that can help secure your network. Check your router’s manual or contact your internet service provider to find out more about these options.
  14. Connect using a Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN encrypts your internet connection, making it difficult for attackers to intercept your data. If you need to use public Wi-Fi, connecting through a VPN will help protect your information.

Following these steps can help secure your home network and protect your personal and sensitive information from potential security threats.

 

How to secure your Home Network through WPA-PSK (Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key) encryption?

By using WPA-PSK encryption, you can help protect your wireless network from unauthorized access and ensure that the data transmitted over the network is secure. Here are the steps to secure your wireless network using WPA-PSK encryption:

Total Time: 10 minutes

  1. Access your router’s web-based interface:

    Open a web browser and type your router’s IP address into the address bar. This will typically be 192.168.0.1 or something similar. Enter the username and password to log into your router’s admin panel.

  2. Change the security mode to WPA-PSK:

    Look for the wireless settings section in the router’s admin panel. Change the security mode to WPA-PSK (Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key) encryption.

  3. Choose a strong password:

    The next step is to choose a strong password, also known as a pre-shared key, that will be used to secure your wireless network. Make sure it is at least 8 characters long and contains a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

  4. Save the changes:

    After entering the password, click the “Save” or “Apply” button to apply the changes and save the new WPA-PSK settings.

  5. Connect your devices:

    Connect your devices to the Wi-Fi network using the new password you created. You should now be able to connect to the wireless network using WPA-PSK encryption securely.

  6. Please change your password regularly:

    It is important to change your password regularly to keep your network secure. Set a reminder to change your password every 3-6 months to ensure your network remains secure.

How to set up WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)?

To set up WPA encryption for your wireless network, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Access your router’s administration page: You can access the administration page by entering your router’s IP address or routerlogin.net in a web browser. The default IP address is usually written on the back or bottom of the router.
  2. Login: Enter your username and password to log in to the administration page. If you still need to change them, the default credentials can usually be found in the router’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website.
  3. Find the Wireless Security Section: Look for a section on the administration page related to wireless security or wireless network settings.
  4. Change the Security Mode: Change the security mode from WEP to WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access).
  5. Choose WPA-PSK Encryption: Select the WPA-PSK (Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key) encryption option.
  6. Create a Strong Password: Create a strong password that is at least eight characters long and includes a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. This password will be used by all devices connecting to the network.
  7. Save Changes: Click the “Save” or “Apply” button to apply the changes to your wireless network.
  8. Connect Devices: Connect your devices to the network using the new WPA-PSK encryption and the password you created.

Note: The exact steps for setting up WPA encryption may vary depending on the router’s model and brand. If you face any difficulties, refer to the router’s manual or contact the manufacturer for support.

Note: If your router is older, it may only have WPA and WEP security options, which are no longer considered secure. To enhance your network’s security, try updating the router’s software. If the update does not bring WPA2 or WPA3 options, it might be time to invest in a new router to ensure the protection of your information.

 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do I set up a secure network?

To set up a secure network, you can follow these steps:
1. Choose a strong password for your Wi-Fi network
2. Enable WPA or WPA2 encryption for your network
3. Disable WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup)
4. Change the default login credentials for your router
5. Enable firewalls on all connected devices
6. Regularly update the firmware on your router
7. Disable remote management of your router
8. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for remote access to your network

Why is my home network not secure?

There could be multiple reasons why your home network could be more secure. Some common causes include:
1. Weak passwords
2. Using WEP encryption instead of WPA/WPA2
3. Using an outdated firmware
4. Lack of firewalls on connected devices
5. Remote management of the router is enabled.
6. Using public Wi-Fi without a VPN

What is the most secure home network setup?

The safest home network setup includes using WPA2 encryption, a strong password, regularly updating the firmware on your router, enabling firewalls on connected devices, disabling remote management of the router, and using a VPN for remote access to the network.

Can a network be 100% secure?

No network can’t be 100% secure, but you can take steps to reduce the risk of security breaches. By following best practices for network security, you can greatly increase the security of your network.

What is the strongest network security?

The strongest network security currently available is WPA3 encryption, considered unbreakable by current technology. However, WPA2 encryption is also considered very secure and widely used.

What is the best network protection?

The best network protection is a combination of different security measures, including:
1. Strong passwords
2. WPA2 or WPA3 encryption
3. Regularly update the firmware on your router.
4. Using firewalls on all connected devices
5. Disabling remote management of the router
6. Using a VPN for remote access to the network

How can I strengthen my network?

You can strengthen your network by following these steps:
1. Choose a strong password for your Wi-Fi network
2. Enable WPA2 encryption for your network
3. Disable WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup)
4. Change the default login credentials for your router
5. Enable firewalls on all connected devices
6. Regularly update the firmware on your router
7. Disable remote management of your router
8. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for remote access to your network.

 

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Last Updated on October 18, 2023

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