Having an unsecured wireless network is like leaving your front-door unlocked. Your wireless router is the your first line of defense to your network, and should be secured as such.
Here are some simple things you can do to dramatically increase the security of your wireless router and internal home network:
1. Enable Network Encryption
Make sure you have some type of wireless encryption enabled by default. This will stop everyone from being able to randomly connect to your network.
2. Do NOT use WEP for your encryption settings.
WEP can be cracked in a few minutes. WPA or WPA-2 should be the minimum.
3. Change the default admin password.
You can easily find a list of default router / admin passwords online. Changing yours will add a considerable level of defense to your wireless router.
4. Change your default SSID (router name).
This may not seem like a big deal, but the default name can usually tell a person the brand of the router (or the service provider), and by extension, the default login information.
5. Don’t broadcast your SSID
Do you really need to advertise your wireless network? By disabling SSID broadcasting, your network will not appear in a wireless network scan. In order to connect to your wireless network, you will need to manually enter the device name.
6. Use your firewall module.
Most wireless routers have firewall modules. Make sure yours is active and filtering at least basic information.
7. Disable Remote Administration
Disable the remote administration feature on your wireless router. This is to keep people near your router from seeing or adjusting your system.
8. MAC address filtering – For the highest level of security
MAC address filtering will only allow connections from computers that you pre-define. Anyone not already on the list will not be able to connect.