Data protection comes in many forms. While our confidential shredding in Limerick & Galway regularly operate a highly secure paper destruction service. It is however, hugely important to protect all forms of data both physical and digital.
Wi-fi networks both public and private networks (more so with public) have greater potential of data breaches or hacks. These hacks could be harmful to your device and also gain access to private or secure files.
Below is a list of steps to improve your Wi-fi data security:
1. Change The Default Name Of The Wireless Network
Hackers will prey on human error to gain access to networks. A router received from your internet provider will run on default settings. If these settings are not changed, hackers will use this to gain access to networks.
In case the SSID is not modified, a hacker has a better chance of breaking into a network, simply by knowing the manufacturer of the router. Use this guide to make the necessary changes.
Ideally change the name to something unique and NOT to use your own and or company name as the new network name.
2. Password Length = Strength
Again if using default settings on the router the default password can be gained if hackers know the default name.
When choosing a password, it is recommended that the password length is:
- 15 – 20 characters
- Contain Numbers
- Contain Upper Case
- Contain Special Characters
Avoid using “123456” and or “password” which is used more often than not. A random sequence of letters, numbers and characters is secure but harder to remember. If the password is unique and not repeated and contains the criteria mentioned, It will improve the password security.
Use this Wiki guide to setup a strong password for your network.
3. Enabling Network Encryption
There are a few popular encryption options for wireless networks, like WEP, WPA and WPA2. The latter form of encryption – WPA2 – is preferred for its improved security and especially if you have a home network.
The option to encrypt traffic is useful if you need to make your communication signals unusable for any unauthorised third party software.
4. Power Off When Not In Use
This option is useful especially when leaving home for extended periods of time, for holiday leave or for a few days.
This security measure, besides helping you to reduce power consumption, it will surely stop any hackers that could “listen” to your network’s traffic or might try to access it for malicious purposes.
5. Where The Router Is Stored Physically
Storing the router in a central location of the house or office will ensure even spread of connection and limits the hackers access to the wireless network.
For this reason, don’t place it too close to a window, from where the signal can be easily accessed from outside, even at some distance, and you may also follow our fourth rule to disable the router when leaving your home.
6. Administrator Default Settings
To set up your wireless router, usually you need to access an online platform or web page, where you can make modifications to your network settings.
As everybody knows, it is something normal to find a router with default credentials such as “admin” and “password”. And these default login credentials are not so difficult to break by a hacker.
Most changes we do on an online platform are things like setting a strong password for the wireless network or changing the network’s name, both changes being made to ensure a greater level of protection from online criminals’ malicious actions.
7. Update Router Software Regularly
Your router like any software device should be maintained and updated regularly.
The problem is that most routers don’t have the option to install the latest security updates and from time to time you need to check the official website for security fixes.
We must not forget that some of the worst security breaches came from security holes in unpatched programs and operating systems.
For more information on data protection and the laws governing them. The DPC has guidelines for your data security needs; Data Protection Commissioner Guidelines
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