Give unwanted Wi-Fi visitors the boot

Photo: MGN Online

You don’t want neighbors or strangers latching onto to your premium Wi-Fi plan any more than you want them stealing your electricity, water, or cable. Having someone mooch off your Wi-Fi not only creates the annoyance of decreasing your upload and download speeds, it also makes it easier for the connected stranger to snoop on your browsing history and your locally stored files.

So how do you go about securing your network to where no one that doesn’t have permission can gain access? Thankfully, keeping unwelcome visitors at bay isn’t difficult and can help your security tremendously in the long-run.

Here’s what you need to do to ward off those unwanted guests:

  1. Keep changing your Wi-Fi password. This is by far the easiest way to boot freeloaders off your wireless network. You need to do this through your router’s settings—either dig out the manual or run a quick web search to find the instructions for your make and model. Change the password to something very hard to forget (for you) and impossible to guess (for everyone else) and you’ve got a clean slate as far as access to your wireless network goes. You will need to reconnect all your devices, but it’s a small price to pay for privacy.
  2. Check your router settings. Change the default password used to access the router settings page to something else—this stops anyone who might gain access to your network from changing the Wi-Fi password themselves.
  3. Have different passwords to access your menus and connecting to Wi-Fi. As you’ll have realized when you accessed your router settings for the first time, you need a password to get into the menus, and a separate one to connect to Wi-Fi, so changing them both gives you maximum protection.
  4. Make sure your router is up-to-date. It’s worth applying any pending firmware updates, which ensures your router is running the latest and most secure version of its own basic operating system. To do this, you will just need to do a simple online search for your make and model and follow the directions in the instruction booklet.
  5. ‘Hide’ your Wi-Fi network (known as SSID or service set identifier). All routers are not the same, so be sure to check your router’s instructions to accomplish this task.
  • 1. Open “http://192.168.1.1” (without quotation marks) from a browser. Enter “admin” into the “User Name” and “Password” fields to log in to your router.
  • 2. Select “Wireless,” then “Basic Wireless Settings” from the menus. Set “SSID Broadcast” to “Disabled” (if your router operates on a dual band, do this for both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz configurations).
  • 3. Click “Save Settings” to hide your SSID.

Source: Popular Science

To read the full story, visit Tips for Keeping Strangers Off Your Wi-Fi Network

If you would like to report a scam, call your BBB at 256-533-1640 or go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.