You might be surprised to see just how many people are using unsecured Wi-Fi connections in their homes. I see this all the time and am quick to help them lock up their connections. Keeping your Wi-Fi connection secure not only improves your speed by keeping the neighbors kid from gaming on your internet connection while you try to download the latest movie but also keeps your private data from being intercepted as well.
Here are a few good security tips to follow.
Make sure you change the default user name and password to your router. Many routers use a default user name and password that is universal and if you don’t change it anyone can get access to your router. I have actually seen scenarios where someone will encrypt their Wi-Fi connection only to leave their router credentials at the default. This is counter productive as a would be internet thief could simply log in and change your security settings to gain access to your network.
Enable WEP or WPA. WEP and WPA are technologies that will encrypt the data sent over your wireless network. When choosing a security type be sure it is comparable with all of your devices. If you set up your encryption but your old iMac wont connect to the network even with the right password, you might need to change to a different encryption type such as WEP.
MAC address filtering. Any device you use to connect to a wireless network will have a physical address or MAC address associated with with it. Your router keeps track of each device connecting to it by using its MAC address. Your router or access point will have features in it that allow you to only provide connectivity to certain MAC addresses you list.
Locking down your Wi-Fi connection is simple and can be done fairly easy. Many routers and access points these days come already encrypted and have software to help you along.