There’s no doubt in how convenient Wi-Fi has made all our lives by providing coherent and unbound data connection. Still, it also comes with its own downside: security issues that tons of hackers are looking forward to exploiting. All thanks to faster broadband speed for keeping our mind unworried about data allowance. But that does not mean you should be clueless about who is using your Wi-Fi networks.
Irrespective of whether it’s your home or business, identifying who and what is on your network should always be your top priority. Any average person, when given a thought about Wi-Fi hacking, basically imagines a hacker breaking into their local Wi-Fi network. While this does certainly happen, Wi-Fi can also be exploited to track users by their devices, compromise passwords with phishing attacks, and divulge information about where a person works or travels.
Hence any hacker has two choices while he is trying to hack a network – either attack the network itself or go through its connected devices. Though the risks related to security cannot be eliminated, they can be minimized by confining those behaviors and patterns that make the devices vulnerable and spill out private information. You can also use a wireless Pan DHCP Server to secure your data from hackers. Here are a few tips that help you not to be easy prey for hackers.
1. Keen on keeping local traffic encrypted?
Use a VPN The introduction of the VPN3 variant clearly fixes the issue of advanced secrecy, which VPN2 lacked. Earlier, VPN2 gave an opportunity for both the hacker and the user to spy on the traffic on a local network that can further record the traffic and decrypt it on knowing the password. Despite the higher degree of safety and privacy, HTTPS has made the internet for Wi-Fi users on untrusted connections VPNs have caused more hindrance for prying on traffic.
VPNs waive off the hacker’s opportunity from knowing what his targets are doing and redirecting them to harmful sites. PIA, Mullvad, or NordVPN contributes to making your local traffic unreadable to a hacker. It offers advanced secrecy by making recordings of your Wi-Fi traffic useless even if the attacker learns the Wi-Fi password later.
2. Root out the networks you don’t require from your PLN
PNL stands for preferred network list, it’s a list consisting of those Wi-Fi networks that your device automatically gets connected to. This list gets formed based on the networks you connect to overtime. One of the major downsides of PNL is that it does not possess the ability to differentiate between the networks with the same name and type. For instance, when you connect your device to MCD’s network, it means your device is open to any network with the same name.
This gives the hackers to lay down rogue access points and impersonate the names of common open Wi-Fi access points. This allows them to track down nearby devices and conduct Man In The Middle (MITM) attacks. It allows the hacker to load phishing pages, track down the sites you visit, and know the apps you use. All you need to do it is go to “manage known networks” and click on “forget” on any network you’re willing to disconnect your device with.
3. Make sure WPS functionality is disabled on the router
For any attacker a network with WPS enabled stands out, it becomes clearly noticeable. Within no time, the hacker can scan the local area for networks that are supported by WPS, serving him a good target for attack.
The most horrifying part about WPS set up pin attacks is that one successful attack can cause damage more than just changing the password. It leads the way to obtain the password no matter how big, strong, unique, and secure it is if the attacker is able to hack your WPS setup pin either by a Reaver or WPS-Pixie style attack. So if there’s a hacker on your radar who knows your WPS set up a pin, it’s time not just to change the password but also disable WPS set up a pin, or possibly buy a new device if it still displays the WPS set up pin despite disabling it.
4. Do-not use the same password for Wi-Fi again and again
One of the major flaws of the current Wi-Fi standard WPS 2 is that simple, weak passwords make the network more vulnerable for hackers to get into. If your passwords are in the top million list, the odds of a breach of your network is more as it’s just a matter of a few minutes.
The only critical part here for classifying the password as ‘strong’ is that it has to be either difficult to guess or unique. One of the most common mistakes made by companies is that they use the same password on multiple platforms, which attracts the attention of hackers and poses an attack. This gets easier since the passwords are just long and not unique. Hence never use a password for your Wi-Fi that has already been used on other online platforms.
5. Disable auto-connect while connecting to networks
Clearing out your PNL might get exasperating sometimes because you will have to enter the password manually every time you connect to a network. There’s only one solution for saving passwords of those frequently used Wi-Fi protected networks while reducing the risks of your device getting connected to malicious networks that have the same name at the same time: disabling auto-connect.
Now, all that you’ll have to do is just click on the name of the network each time you want to join it without having to type out the password, and this prevents your device from disclosing the name of networks you have connected to before.
6. Update your firmware
It’s startling yet unsurprising to look into the recent survey results published by the Broadband Genie about router security. It’s saddening to know that 86% of survey respondents have never updated their router’s firmware. While most routers could have an automatic update toggle, an upgrade of firmware would regress this to a default setting where the update gets disabled. So it’s important to check whether this applies to your router after each update.
Since then, the firms are being encouraged to update the system software to boost network security. It not only cuts costs but also saves time. You never know what might happen. An outlawed user might be streaming pirated movies, monopolizing your bandwidth, or even potentially landing you in a position of legal bother.
They could be involved in more harmful activities and try to hack into your systems. The results of the recent survey conducted by research by Broadband Genie in 2018 wasn’t surprising at all. It showed that 54% of British broadband users were concerned about some threat of their router getting hacked.
Yet, only 19% had accessed the Wi-Fi router configuration controls, and only a small unit consisting of 17% had changed the admin password from the default. These precautions will not only reduce the risk of your device automatically getting connected to nasty networks it also prevents being tracked down and leaking private information. While these tips are not a full-fledged guide to keep your Wi-Fi secure, it surely keeps you away from most of the dirt cheap and easy attacks from hackers.
According to a New York Times report, an increase of 27% traffic was reported on Facebook in the lockdown. Similar trends were reported on Instagram, Whatsapp, and Snapchat. Though this data is exciting as connectivity equals higher opportunity, it equals a greater vulnerability too. Hackers have a bigger digital playground to hog our bandwidth, gain unwanted access, try and steal personal data and land us into legal trouble. Check Point, the leading internet security organization, said in its report that ransomware attacks increased by 50% in 2020.
Your password must be unique. If you use your strong password for two different sites, it loses its peculiarity, and it can be easily attacked by hackers. It can become an easy crack for hackers. Hackers can easily breach into your network this way, and your internet connection is no longer safe.
I hope you will try these simple tips and tricks to secure your personal or professional internet connection as it is easily vulnerable these days. The need for knowledge about cybersecurity has increased with the number of online phishing and ransomware attacks, and the best weapon in our weapon is educating ourselves.
Being cautious and following these tips above will help secure us against cyber-attacks. Hope you find this article helpful. Let me know in the comment sections below if you have any other tips to secure the internet connection. Also, do tell me if you want to read more such articles. And, help us know more about your opinion in the comment section.