WiFi hotspots are very useful for people that are often on the go, but they can open the door for silent attackers to mess with or sabotage the network and/or its users. Instead of simply setting your WiFi hotspot set up and hoping that nobody will want to mess with it, start implementing the following measures for maximum security of your wifi network as soon as possible.
The first thing you should do is enforce encryption on your WiFi hotspot. If possible, go with a WPA or WPA2 encryption, but use WEP if the first two options are not available or possible. The latter is easier to crack and is therefore a more risky encryption option. Encrypting the network will be your first line of defense against potential threats.
Hide the SSID – Give Users Name and Password Upon Request
In your router’s settings, it may be a good idea to hide the SSID. This is otherwise known as turning broadcasting off. When users request access to your wifi network, give them the SSID and password. This defensive step can easily and immediately cut down on the risks of hackers or intruders finding and breaking into the network. How can they break in when they can’t even initially detect that the signal is there?
Change the Network Password Often
As a next step, you can add further security by changing the network password often. Go with long combinations of letters and numbers that are difficult to guess in order to maximize your security. Additionally, when you change these credentials, be sure to note it somewhere where you won’t forget. Forgetting the router’s password can entail having to reset the router and configure it all over again, which can be a pain to deal with.
Require that Users Have Firewall Protection to Use Network
When you allow users to log onto your WiFi hotspot, you can ensure another layer of security by requiring that users have firewall protection on their computers. Routers come with basic firewall capabilities, but in certain cases, this is not enough, especially from expert hackers who can easily sidestep basic security setups.
If your wifi is for a business or company, you can require that users that log onto your network and get adequate protection for themselves before they are granted access to your wifi.
If You Charge For Access, Use an Login/Payment Page
If you are charging for access to your WiFi hotspot, use a login/payment page that does not allow any other action before the user agrees/pays/etc. You can even go as far as to disable particular ports and connection protocols so that you can disable what exactly your users do on the hotspot.
There are so many types of control you can have over the hotspot, its just a matter of taking the time and effort to implement them so that you can protect your data, as well as the data of those using your wifi network, from virtual intruders.