Priority #6 - Other important security measures

There are a couple of other changes that we need to make to finish the job of securing our home wireless network:

#1 – Change the wireless network name

Routers ship with default network names, which tell everybody in range what networking equipment you have. This is an unnecessary security risk, so the next change that we’ll make it to the name of the wireless network (or the SSID as it is technically known).

change your wifi networks default name will make life harder for anyone trying to break in

The Figure above shows an example WIRELESS SETTINGS screen, in this instance from a TP-LINK router. As you can see from the 'Network Name (SSID)' field, this router is constantly broadcasting that this is a TP-LINK router. This is poor security. The bad guys will use this information to discover your router's default password composition. To change our Network Name, we'll go to Wireless Settings and update the Network Name or SSID to something that is not associated with you or the router.

If your router is dual-band (as is the case in the example above), remember to change the network name for both bands. Here, the 2.4GHz | 5 GHz option is going to flip between both bands, allowing us to re-configure both networks.

#2 – Update the routers firmware

The router’s firmware is the software that makes the router tick. Occasionally, vulnerabilities are found in router firmware, and manufacturers issue updates. Some routers automatically check for updates and others do not. Our final step is to check if our router is capable of automatic updates – if it is, then we will check that this feature has been enabled. If not, we will perform a manual update.

update your router's firmware regularly

To check and update the router’s firmware, go to the TOOLS or ADMINISTRATION menu and look for the FIRMWARE option. This is probably in the ADVANCED section. In the example above, we can see that the firmware hasn’t been updated in a while (woops) and there is a button to check for the availability of an update.

In the example below, the relevant button is labeled ‘Check for Upgrades’. In both cases, the outcome is the same.

if your router supports automatic firmware updates, then select that option