tips-to-boost-wireless-network-securityThere’s nothing quite like the feeling of freedom that comes with using your Wi-Fi devices anywhere, at any time, to access anything (within reason, of course).

The key to this experience, however, is connecting to your wireless local area network (WLAN). And as the use of Wi-Fi devices continues to grow, so does the need to ensure your network is secure. It can be a tall task.

That’s why understanding wireless signals, router configuration and user connectivity is key. A basic knowledge of WLAN operations and data flaws is also important.

A common misconception with router configuration is that it deals with modifying the settings for security, IP addresses and other connectivity options. In reality, it has to do with optimizing the wireless signals, their physical location, and the various channels those signals use.

Some security vulnerabilities are due to user misconfiguration of the WLAN router or wireless network adapter at the user’s station. Often times, manufacturing vulnerabilities that require further patching are overlooked when dealing with WLAN security issues.

How can you ensure your WLAN is secure? Consider these five tips that address the most common vulnerabilities:

1. Update the default router basic settings

Keeping the default settings is the most common mistake when installing a WLAN router. Most routers are, by default, open networks – and therefore unsecure. Choosing a strong security certification program such as “wireless protected access 2” (WPA2) is encouraged.

2. Select the right channels

Avoid using the most popular channels. Unknown users on your network – which could be cybercriminals – become easier to spot. Choosing a channel that fits the geographic dimensions of the location helps prevent the signal from traveling too far and attracting unwanted guests.

3. Control network users

WLAN routers provide multiple methods to control network access. Administrators can grant access to users by adding them to a whitelist and, conversely, restricting or denying access by adding names to a blacklist.

4. Look for rogue access points

Hackers like to install wireless access points on secure networks without authorization. The idea is other users will connect to such networks, not realizing it’s a trap.

5. Monitor and manage your network remotely

Around-the-clock, on-site network monitoring can be expensive. Remote monitoring and management is an affordable alternative. A wireless self-protection system (WSPS) sends instant alerts when it detects issues, and provides the power to take immediate action from anywhere.