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Friday, 27 January 2012

How to Prevent a Home Wifi Piggybacker/Stealer?

Is your wireless network slow? Do you have intermittent losses when surfing the web and simply can't figure out why? You might had your Home WiFi network compromised. Unauthorised people can access your WiFi if your router is not or poorly password protected.

How to fight WiFi Stealer?

In the past wireless encryption-standard, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is introduced to put a security feature in Wifi Network. However it has been shown to be easily breakable even when correctly configured. An enhanced Wi-Fi Protected Access WPA was available  later in the year 2003, WPA2 encryption became available in devices aimed to solve this problem.

Note: This list ranks the encryption options.
WPA2 - Strongest
WPA2 / WPA Mixed Mode - WPA2: Strongest; WPA: Strong
WPA - Strong
WEP - BasicWired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption was designed to protect against casual snooping but it is no longer considered secure. Tools such as AirSnort or Aircrack-ng can quickly recover WEP encryption keys. 

It is important to setup encryption like WPA2 because on an unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, connecting devices like a WiFi stealer can monitor and steal data (including personal information). Such networks can only be secured by using other means of protection, such as a VPN or secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) used in your web browser shown below. 

Https is secure feature in your web browser to provide encryption, notice the Lock Icon.
The best is to use WPA2 protection in your home router which include option like WPA2/WPA Mixed Mode / WPA2 Personal / WPA Personal and require you to enter a passphrase of 8-63 characters. The longer and highly alphanumeric combination passphrase is the best.
So how to setup router WiFi password?

Router Setup

First log in to the Router, as for my case i use a Cisco X3000 router. Type 192.168.1.254 or  192.168.1.1 or  192.168.0.1 (depending on your setup) on your browser address.

Username Default: admin (depend on router default)
Password: admin/password (depend on router default)

Please change the password and username under the Administration option because you only want permitted users to access your router.

Go to Wireless, Setup Your SSID (a Name for your WiFi Network), there is an option for you to enable broadcast SSID. If you broastcast SSID, there is a risk for WiFi Stealer to see your WiFi network and try to hack in but it is always recommended not to disable if you are unsure.
Go to Wireless Security and set up the encryption WPA2 and passphrase. Some router allow you to set the number of channels so that you can have control over the number of users for WiFi.
To check if anyone steal your WiFi, check at the Log under administration. You will see all IP addresses connected to router.

How to check ip addresses of the WiFi connected device?
For iPhone/iPad user, go to WiFi in the setting and click on the blue arrow right icon.
For laptop, go to control panel > network status and tasks > wireless area connection > detail, ip4 address.

Now you are done, click save changes and restart your router.

Clarence 101 Tips
  • Setup your Personal firewall at your Router and PC
  • Always update your Anti-virus software. 
  • Never use non-password protected Wireless@SG and reduce use of iBanking over free public WiFi.
Information from: wikipedia-WiFi and Howstuffworks

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