For the first part of this series go here. That will set you on your way in protecting your Wifi network and wireless router.
We’ll start off this part with some more tips and tricks for beginner level users in how to protect your wifi network and wireless router.
As indicated before in the first part of this series of posts, you can protect your wifi network along with your wireless router in a number of ways. There are just so many techniques and methods through which you can have iron-clad protection for your wifi network and wireless router that we won’t bother to list them all here. We’ll only list the best ones.
We’ll continue with a couple of more techniques for novice users in order to gain more online protection from cyber criminals and other unfortunate events such as identity theft.
Put Some Sort Of Restriction On Your Inbound Traffic.
Most beginners tend to overlook this technique, citing it as something only meant for the pros. But let us tell you right now that restricting your inbound traffic can have tremendous effects on the overall security of your wifi network and wireless router security.
We’re going to go on a limb here and assume that you can already comprehend why allowing all incoming traffic to have unrestricted access to your computer is not a bright idea.
But we also know that in the real world, sometimes, you need to allow access to some form of inbound traffic. Generally speaking, you should at least be selective at allowing incoming traffic to your machine unhindered.
And since most of the users who work online today have some kind of online services that do require features such as port forwarding it doesn’t mean that you should not be careful about it. In short, you should always try to avoid port forwarding whenever possible.
Some online users who have been at this for a while do tend to forward several ports at the same time especially when connecting multiple devices (such as gaming consoles) to their network, but still, you should always be safe than sorry.
As indicated earlier as well, if you must participate in any sort of port forwarding activity then always go for and use uncommon ports. It is probably best if you spend some time learning about the different ways one can engage in port forwarding without getting exposed to hackers and other cyber criminals.
It is always a good idea to have some sort of understanding of the whole process before you actually being the process.
If You’re Accessing The Internet In The 21st Century, Then You Must Turn Off WPS
WPS, short for WiFi Protected Setup, is supposed to protect users from accidents such as identity theft and spying agencies gaining access to sensitive information.
It is basically a unique feature that apparently provides a fast and expedient security. That is, if you believe everything that is true in theory must also be true in practice.
In other words, WPS isn’t as secure as it is made out to be. It is vulnerable to attacks that are carried out through modern techniques such as brute force.
If you want to protect your wifi network and your wireless router then you need to switch WPS off, preferably forever and turn on some other form of security such as WPA2.
Restrict Unknown Outbound Traffic.
This tip basically follows most of the things we told you when we recommended that you should leave automatic updates turned off if you want to save time and protect yourself without expending too much effort.
If you have multiple devices that want to connect to the internet for the sake of automatic updates or whatever may be the case, it is a reasonable idea to think about the fact why do they want to do so in the first place.
If you find a justifiable cause of connection to the internet then you can base your decision on that as well.
In short, decide which outbound traffic you want to restrict on a case by case basis. Of course, that will eat up some amount of time but at least you’ll have decent protection for your wifi network and wireless router without having to spend hundreds of bucks on fake software programs that “offer” military grade protection to all their users.
If You Don’t Use A Particular Service, Then You Need to Disable It
Needless to say, for the sake of your online privacy, security and even the general performance of your computer machine, you should always get rid of services and software that you don’t use, don’t want to use or no longer use.
Telnet, which is a network protocol that enables a single user on one computer to log onto another computer that is part of the same network, is service that most users don’t use nowadays.
If you’re one of those people then switch the service off.
How about Samba file shares? Don’t know the meaning of Samba file shares? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to understand this term at all. Just know that Samba servers are used to share files with Windows clients.
The point is, if you don’t use Samba file shares then switch the service off in order to guard your wireless router as well as wifi network.
The same policy goes towards other services such as uPnP too. That’s right, we know you don’t have a clue about what uPnP is and that is exactly the reason why you need to turn if off because you don’t need it.
Of course, if you are one of those advanced users then you might need some of these services. In that case, needless to say, you need to keep them activated. Perhaps we should also mention that in case you are an advanced user then you probably know what you’re doing or at least have a pretty decent idea how to prepare yourself for the protection of your wifi network and wireless router.
You should always know, well in advance, if you’re going to use a particular service or not and if that service deserves to be on your white list. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting your personal compromised at the hands of hackers and other cyber criminals.
But again, regardless of your actual experience with disabling extra services, it is probably a safe bet to keep uPnP off.
In case your curiosity is getting the better of you and you’re itching to find out why are we being so adamant on keeping services such as uPnP off for good, watch the YouTube video below to have a comprehensive idea about why you should turn these services off.
Make Sure You Have Analyzed Port 32764 For Any Areas Of Susceptibility.
This is another area which beginner level users tend to overlook. Assuming you live in a house and then further assuming that your house actually has a back door, we’ll ask a simple question of whether you would keep your house’s back door open all the time?
Most of you would answer that question with a firm no. You always keep your back door closed no matter what, except for when you want to avoid meeting your next door neighbors.
Well, in the scenario of protecting your wifi network and wireless router, you need to make sure that you have checked port 32764. The 32764 port, as it turns out, is quite exposed to outside attacks.
If you don’t secure it properly then it provides a backdoor for hackers and other cyber criminals to just come in and attack your router. In fact, we’ll go one step further and tell you that if you don’t shield port 32764 to an acceptable level then that is akin to putting up a huge neon sign saying “welcome” that flashes constantly and invites everyone to join the party (the party of hacking your computer and stealing your private information) without the owner of the house (you) ever knowing anything about it.
The obvious question that arises from all this is what can you do in your personal capacity to guard port 32764.
First of all, you should click your way to a service by the name of ShieldsUP, and sign up. No need to hesitate though, this website has little, if anything, to do with Star Wars. When you access this website, all you need to do is follow the on-screen instructions in order to get started.
The whole process is simple really.
Don’t Forget To Turn On Logging
That’s right. The thing you never want your VPN service to do when you’re accessing the internet, is exactly the thing you want to do as far as the security of your wifi network and the wireless router is concerned.
You don’t need to buy an expensive router to enable traffic logging. Most modern wireless routers come with a pre-installed user interface to manage logging options. In fact, many of the routers that are available in the market today are fully capable of logging everything that goes through them.
Routers are now advanced enough to log each and every bit of information that passes through them from the moment they are switched on to the moment they die (probably in a nuclear attack but you never know, you might drop yours into a bucket of water for all we know.).
In short, routers can log network activity fairly easily but sometimes this option is not enabled by the manufacturer of the wireless router by default.
Look for this option in the Network Log menu of your wireless router and then switch it on if required.
Now That You Have Turned On Logging, You Need To Analyze Your Logs On A Regular Basis.
By a regular basis, we don’t mean on a daily basis or even a weekly basis. All we mean, is that you should not just turn on the router’s logging feature and then forget about by not returning to study the reports generated by your router ever.
If you want to get serious about protecting your wireless router as well as your wifi network then you need to invest some time into ensuring its security.
So, we’ve already established that your router is now recording anything and everything that goes through it. Now, what you want to do is to check those generated logs from time to time.
While you’re studying the logs generated by your wireless router, you need to watch out for any dubious or funny-looking activity.
These irregular activities include unknown devices that connect to your personal network without permission. You should also check out the connections made to your network and the exact time (day or night) when they were made.
Also, be on the lookout for connections made during times when there shouldn’t be any network activity.
That should cover the scope of your analysis but even with that said, keep a sharp eye out for any activity that seems peculiar or out of the ordinary.
If you’re wondering, how to check the router’s logs then read this next bit.
If you want to analyze the logs generated by your router manually then you can do that through the router’s default control panel. In fact, you can even have those logs email directly to you and that too on a schedule of your choosing.
So utilize this facility in order to protect your wireless router and wifi network.
When You’re Done With Your Work, Always Log Out
That advice holds true for any and every activity that can be considered to be sensitive. Banking sites, email services, project management apps, word processing software, your premium content streaming websites, everything.
You already know that you must change the default login credentials for any website or service that you use. While that is an excellent piece of work, remember to always log out when you have finished your task on any website or service that initially requires a login.
If you don’t then you leave yourself open to running an authenticated live session on your wireless router.
You would have probably guessed by now that that’s not an ideal situation.
After logging in, always log out.
That just about sums up all the measures you can take to guard your wireless router and wifi network.
But hold on. We’re still not done with more advanced tips on how to protect your wifi network and wireless router like a pro.
We’ll continue the series in the coming weeks so stay tuned to securitygladiators.com