It’s happened again — an Associated Press report NY case underscores Wi-Fi privacy dangers reports on another case where an unsecured wireless router was used to download illegal images – and resulted in the innocent router owner’s home being broken into by police, the homeowner arrested, and his family’s iphones, ipads and computer being confiscated.
It’s easy to secure your wireless router:
- set the router to use WPA2 encryption
- set a password on the router – a GOOD password, at least 8 characters that are a mix of numbers and upper and lower case letters – and not words or word combinations (sometimes you can even use punctuation characters in the passwords)
- set the router’s MAC Address Filter to allow only the MAC Addresses of your known wireless devices, including iPhones and iPads (both do WPA2)
- change the router SSID to something unique for you (not a default like “Linksys”)
- set your wireless device to connect to the router using the password you set up on the router
What’s a bad password? Anything in the dictionary. Combinations of words are also bad – like mydogspot, mypassword, NewYorkCity.
What’s a good password? Random letters and numbers, in mixed upper and lower case, such as wEo5sx3a. You can sometimes make a password from a phrase, but, remember that if the phrase is a common one, the password cracking programs probably already know about it. How about “NYNYia1derfltwn” – that looks like it might be ok – but it’s “New York, New York, It’s a Wonderful Town” from an old movie musical.
Try using a sentence that means something only to you – and no one else.
That’s about all there is to it, and that will block most freeloaders from getting on your wireless network. Of course, wireless will never be as secure as “wired” but this accomplishes a lot.