How to protect your Wi-Fi connection


Last week, research revealed a shocking number of Wi-Fi connections were susceptible to hacking.

The study by CPP showed 40,000 home connections in the UK could be hacked in less than five seconds and 20,000 of those didn't even have the simple protection of a password.

It is clear how badly this could affect the individual, with the risk of bank details and personal logins getting into the wrong hands, but it could also mean disaster for businesses.

Along with those small companies using home Wi-Fi networks, remote working is continuing to increase and bad Wi-Fi protection at home could lead to a security disaster for any size of corporation.

We asked Trend Micro's senior security advisor, Rik Ferguson, to give us a run down of the top five tips to keep your Wi-Fi connection safe from hackers.

Top five tips

1 Always use encryption and try to avoid WEP wherever possible. Stick to WPA2 encryption as WEP is crackable in a matter of minutes.

WPA2 is still currently considered secure, as long as you use a complex key (PSK) use upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

2 Make sure you change the default SSID and passwords on your Wireless Access Point or Router.

3 Do not broadcast your SSID. This does not make you invisible from committed hackers, but it does help avoid casual snoopers.

4 Try not to name your network after anything relating to your company name or address, giving away any kind of unnecessary information about which network belongs to. You will only aid those seeking to penetrate it.

5 If you are running a smaller network, consider implementing MAC address filtering on the router or access point in order to restrict network access only to trusted devices. Again this is not "unhackable" but it will deter al but the most dedicated.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.