Have you ever noticed a suspicious vehicle driving back and forth through your neighborhood, stopping every so often along the curb. No one gets out, and it finally comes to rest for 20 minutes outside one home. There could be a “Wi-Fi pirate” inside—a person who drives slowly through neighborhoods looking for unsecured access to wireless networks.
While some of these Wi-Fi pirates could be harmless—such as travelers who just need to get online real quick, others are annoying and using up all your bandwidth because they done have Wi-Fi, or worse, some Wi-Fi Pirates may be looking for ways to steal crucial information or conducting illegal activities on your internet. There have been cases of homeowners being questioned by police about downloading child pornography, when in reality, it was done by someone pirating the home’s wireless network.
Follow these 5 Steps to protect yourself and prevent illegal Wi-Fi access, and to know your home’s wireless network is secured:
- Position the router correctly. Typical wireless routers transmit radio signals for about 300 feet. If you position the router far enough back in the house, it will be more difficult for Wi-Fi pirates to steal your bandwidth.
- Configure your router properly. Change the default network name and password immediately after setup to secure your network and keep others from using it.
- Update software regularly. This includes keeping your operating software up to date, as well as antivirus and spyware protection.
- Install and use firewalls. The majority of computers already have firewalls installed and enabled when you buy them. Your wireless router comes with a firewall too. It’s best to have firewalls in both places.
- Turn on data encryption and filtering. Encryption technology rearranges the information that goes through your wireless router in such a way that it’s difficult for humans to read without permission. Filters in your router can identify friendly users and decline access for unknown users.
If you have questions or need additional assistance with the protection of your home’s wireless network, contact Pioneer Communications at 1.800.308.7536.