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Securing Home Your WiFi

Rickie Fleming - Sunday, June 29, 2014

Simple Ways to Secure Your Home WiFi Network

Nowadays, just about everyone who has home Internet sets up a WiFi network. That’s because gone are the days when a home had a single desktop computer that everyone shared; now Mother, Father, Sister, Brother and Grandma too each have a laptop and at least one smart phone and/or iPad, Kindle or video game, all of which require Internet connectivity. The only way to make the Internet available to all these devices is by way of a WiFi network.

Why Should I Bother to Secure My WiFi Network?

Perhaps the most obvious reason to secure your home WiFi network is to prevent your neighbor mooching off your Internet and thus gobbling up your expensive bandwidth capacity. With the limited Internet capacities offered by our local providers this can easily make the difference between enjoying a movie or video clip and, well, not.

As annoying as a mooching neighbor may be, however, an unsecured or ‘open’ WiFi network can lead to much more costly and/or embarrassing consequences.

First and foremost home is where we usually do our online shopping…except for those who waste their employer’s time doing it on the job…but that’s another topic. This means that our Credit Card information, name, billing and delivery addresses, in fact, all our financial and personal data is stored on our devices. Whether you realise it or not, this data is easily accessed by any other device on your home WiFi network,,,and without your knowledge. What ensues is varying degrees of what has become known as “identity theft’. Simply put, identity theft is where you work hard to earn an income, build savings and credit and a criminal saves you the bother by spending it all for you, usually in ways beyond your imagination!

Now don’t go thinking I’m accusing your friendly neighbor of being a criminal mastermind and a computer wizard. Most of the time the criminal acts take place entirely without his or her knowledge. All that is necessary is for your neighbor’s computer or smart phone to be infected with a ‘worm’ or other spyware and the dirty work is done completely without their knowledge.

Those of us who have yielded to the temptation of the higher download speeds offered by 4G Internet will be aware that that service does not offer unlimited data downloads. In this circumstance, sharing your WiFi can become an expensive proposition.

So How Do I Secure my Home WiFi Network?

There are many advanced and some costly software applications on the market designed to secure your WiFi network. A quick browse of www.download.com or www.cnet.com among numerous other sites will identify several and checking the reviews will soon help you to identify the one that best suits your needs and budget. We have found however that the simplest solutions are often the most effective and almost always the most economical.

There are two simple steps that we recommend for securing WiFi networks. Not only are they effective, but they actually cost nothing.


  1. Secure your WiFi network with a passphrase. You may choose a simple passphrase such as “WeAreTheWorld” or a complex passphrase such as “#We$Are%The99World!”. Whichever you chose, make sure it’s something you will remember and in any case, write it down in a safe and secret place. This is important since you will only need to enter the passphrase the first time each device connects to your network. Most importantly, having set up a passphrase, don’t then give it out to everyone in your neighborhood!


  2. 2. Hide your access point’s SSID. The SSID (Service Set Identification) is the name by which your WiFi access point identifies itself to wireless devices. Once the SSID and passphrase are entered into all your devices you should hide your access point’s SSID. This has the effect of making your WiFi network invisible to other devices. In this way your neighbors will not even know you have a WiFi network.


Just about all WiFi access points will have these two options available in their setup. All you need to do is look for them in your access point’s User Manual and follow the instructions carefully. By implementing these two simple steps you can economically and effectively protect your home network against most of the security threats it is likely to face. Of course you will need to maintain current antivirus agents on all your devices and also constantly update your Operating Systems, but these will be the subjects of another column.

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