As technology moves on we get more and more dependent on our internet connections and the reliance on WiFi, both at home and on the road.  If you scan around various neighborhoods including your own, you will see how many unsecured Wi-Fi routers there out there.  Although many of he new routers come with a setup wizard to walk you through the basics, many people end up just taking things out of the box and plugging them in without the basic configurations being completed.  In addition, many of these setup wizards do not go through some of the options that are needed for the extra security.  I assembled a list of the most common things that are recommend, in addition to what I practice in efforts to establish some basic security practices.  Below is a list of common security precautions as well as some basic practices to better provide data security, and to help protect you against potential danger.  I will caveat this by saying that this is by no means a full comprehensive list, and it is just touching the surface.  Remember that you can never be too cautious.  The intent is that hopefully using a combination of these things will help provide you with the best opportunity to protect yourself both at home, and when you are on the road.

Home Router Basics

For starters, you have to have at least some basics settings in your wireless setup.  Assuming you are using a wireless router or access point, here are some of basics you need to do.

  • Use WPA/WPA2 security settings in your router.  There are too many routers to cover all of them so below are some screen shots from my old DIR-655.
  • Set a strong password for both administrator access to your router, and your wireless access itself.  Do not use the same password for both.
  • Change and hide your SSID.  Never use the default SSID and once you configure it, disable the broadcasting of the SSID (Invisible).  This helps everyone from seeing that you have a wireless router and keeps the casual prowler from an easy target.
  • Do not give out the wireless password to guests in your home.  If you have people come over often that need internet access, setup a guest network with a different password.  Most current routers support this feature.  This will isolate the guests from you internal network which provides extra security.
  • Disable UpNp.  This mainly protects against ill behaved apps and in-system exploits, should you get a virus or other malware.
  • Consider if feasible setting operation times in your router.  (See you router documentation to see if your router supports this feature).  If you are not home for most of the day, set the router to block traffic during those times when you are not home.