Wi-Fi networks are convenient, but they can be very insecure. That's why it's crucial to implement a few simple steps that will keep your network safe from wardrivers and hackers.
To block Wi-Fi hackers, you'll need to know how their attacks work, how to identify them in the wild, how to prevent them from getting inside your network, and how to take action when they do get in!
Is Your Network Safe?
Hackers or wardrivers drive around and use technology to identify unsecured wireless networks, which could be in your home. The intruder may gain access to the network, collect sensitive data, commit identity theft, or engage in other malicious activities.
Hackers also know that when they attack public places like coffee shops and airports, they have a better chance of avoiding detection since there are so many targets around them - not just you!
Signs Your Wi-Fi Has Been Hacked
- Someone made use of one of your credit cards. Identity theft on the internet is common. If you use credit cards online, it could be an indication that a hacker was responsible.
- You begin to receive strange email messages. Friends may receive strange emails from you that you never sent. You might also notice messages in your sent folder that you didn't write. These are clear indications that a hack has occurred.
- New programs appear out of nowhere. You did not purchase or install it, but you have noticed that a new program has been installed on your computer.
- A tried-and-true password is ineffective. If a password suddenly stops working, it could mean that a hacker has broken into your computer and changed the login details for your account, and things could get worse from there.
- You've noticed unusual browser activity. Some hackers enter a computer and control it as if they were standing right in front of it. If you ever see browser activity that isn't yours (or that of another member of your family), it could be a sign of trouble.
- You begin to lose control. A computer virus can reroute your browser activity and prevent you from accessing desired websites. That is unmistakably the work of a roving hacker.
How to Keep Your Wi-Fi Secure?
Although there is no foolproof way to keep hackers out of your network 100 percent of the time, following these guidelines can go a long way toward keeping your network secure!
Monitor Your Devices
If someone else uses one of your devices without permission, they could easily connect to an unsecured network. This will give them access to everything stored or sent across that connection - including sensitive information! Be vigilant and monitor what devices are connecting to your Wi-Fi at all times.
Be Alert with Your Passwords!
Hackers are experts at what they do, but if you make your passwords too complicated for them to figure out (even using a dictionary), then it becomes almost impossible for them to hack into your connections.
Using combinations like "password123" or variations thereof is just asking someone to hack into that connection in under two minutes - don't be so obvious about this one! It's essential to keep in mind that hackers are out there looking for anything even remotely insecure. Make sure that your password has letters, numbers, and symbols in it to make it truly secure.
Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Another effective way of protecting yourself against Wi-Fi hackers is by encrypting all the data on your network. The virtual private network keeps all of your information encrypted while you're browsing the web.
This makes any hacking attempt practically impossible since they cannot access what they can't see! Using one will also help you bypass restrictions imposed by specific networks that are not available outside their coverage area.
This also means that you should never share personal or sensitive details over public Wi-Fi without first encrypting them through VPN services like Virtual Private Networks, which essentially act as an impenetrable shield around anyone trying to break into your connection.
Disable SSID Broadcast
The first step to effectively blocking a Wi-Fi hacker is disabling the wireless network's service set identifier (SSID), which essentially broadcasts its existence. Without this, any potential hackers won't be able to see that you even have a public connection in the first place and thus will look elsewhere for an easier target.
By default, your wireless network sends a service set identifier (SSID) so that devices with wireless network adapters can see the networks in range and attempt to connect to them. This is how your smartphone detects that you are at home and connected to your network.
While this is appropriate for public wireless networks such as those found in libraries, coffee shops, and other public places, it may not be suitable for your home network.
Changing your assigned SSID and preventing your router from broadcasting it to anyone is a simple way to prevent unknown connections to your wireless network. Here's how you can make that configuration work for you.
To perform this:
- Sign in to your Motorola router account. Open your browser and type in the manufacturer's default IP address, which is usually found on the underside of your router, in the user manual, or a custom one you set. Log in to your router's settings page with your username and password.
- To alter your wireless settings, go to the Wireless tab. If you aren’t already on the correct page, navigate the Primary Network (or equivalent) tab.
- Change your SSID to something more personal by clicking Change the SSID. Consider a name that will be difficult for an outsider to guess but not so difficult that you will forget it. Please note it and keep the name of your network somewhere safe.
- Disable SSID broadcast so that only people with your SSID can connect to the network. The label of the setting will vary depending on your router, so consult your manual. Enabling the Closed Network setting on our router solves the problem.
- To connect devices to your network, manually enter your new SSID. Open the Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center on your Windows laptop to do so. Select "Create a new connection or network." Then, under "Manually connect to a wireless network," enter your SSID and password.
Disable Automatic Network Connection
When you open your laptop, it automatically connects to the internet without giving a second thought as to whether or not it is secure. This might be convenient for most people but can also lead to Wi-Fi hackers having access to all your data and information on the web if proper precautions are not taken.
Disable automatic connections and always ask, "Is this secure?" every time before connecting. In case you are using Windows 7, these steps will work for you.
To perform this:
- Click the Start button.
- In the start search bar, type Network and Sharing Center.
- In the left pane, click Manage Wireless Networks and right-click the one you want to change.
- Next, select Properties.
- Next, select the Connection Tab.
- Automatically connect when in range. Connect to a more preferred network, even if the network isn't broadcasting. Change them as needed.
Enable MAC Address Filtering
Every internet-enabled device has its unique identifier known as a MAC address, which can block wireless access. This means that you would simply input the unique identifier of each device you want accessing your public Wi-Fi connection into a special authorization field to permit them.
To perform this:
- Select Firewall > Advanced Settings > MAC Filtering from the menu.
- To enable MAC Address Filtering for this device, check the Enable box.
- Choose one of the following options: Policy for MAC Addresses.
- Block and Allow the Rest- Choose this option to block traffic from the specified MAC addresses while allowing traffic from all other addresses.
- Allow and Block the Rest- Select this option to allow traffic from the specified MAC addresses while blocking the traffic from all other machines on the router's LAN side.
- Click Add in the MAC addresses table.
- Click Save after entering the MAC address and description to be added to the table. Repeat for each address you want to allow or block.
- Save the file.
WPA/WPA(+PSK) PSK Encryption
Every wireless router has different methods of encrypting data sent over their connections. Still, most allow some form of private mode to keep your information being accessed by anyone who happens upon it.
This means setting up WPA/WAP(+) PSK security on your home router can easily prevent unauthorized access to your information. Older routers that aren't WPA/WAP(+) PSK capable can still be configured with some security protocols.
To get around this, you need to make sure that any free or paid service uses up-to-date encryption methods because anything less than 128bit WEP won't cut it anymore, considering how quickly technology moves forward.
To perform this:
- Go to your router's configuration page by typing your router's IP address in your web browser. Check your default IP address in your router's user manual.
- To log in to your router, enter your username and password.
- Find the Wireless in the settings menu.
- Choose the proper encryption method from the drop-down menu and press the Apply button.
Enable Automatic Updates
If routers get an update, it may not alert you. Newer routers often download updates automatically, and almost all routers have the option to upload firmware manually. If you have a router option to enable automatic update, automatically turn it on.
To perform this:
- Launch a web browser from a network-connected computer or mobile device.
- Enter http://www.routerlogin.net or http://www.routerlogin.com for Nighthawk. Enter http://www.orbilogin.net or http://www.orbilogin.com for Orbi.
- Enter the username and password for the router.
- Navigate to Advanced > Administration > Router Update.
- Scroll down to the section titled Router Auto Firmware Update.
- Select the Enable radio button to enable the auto firmware update features.
- Select the Disable radio button to disable the auto firmware update features.
- Finally, press the Apply button. Your preferences have been saved.
Note: These steps may vary depending on your router manufacturer.
Disable WPS Function on Routers
Many versions of WPS are vulnerable to both brute force attacks and WPS-Pixie-based attacks. These can allow an attacker to gain access to vulnerability networks within as little as 15 seconds. If you want to block someone from accessing your WPS credentials, it's okay to change a password to unlock your access account.
You may also need to deactivate the WPS settings pin and buy a new router if you want to use it again. If your system still promotes WPS after deactivating it, you should replace it. Sometimes, disabling the WPS feature does not mean it will be removed - try using Kali Linux to identify the neighboring networks.
Avoid the Use of Hidden Networks
Hidden Wi-Fi networks do not broadcast themselves and require a device in range and network knowledge to connect to them. In practice, your phone will constantly say the name of the network you protected, making it quick and straightforward to identify the device regardless of the randomized MAC address.
Even if the SSID is unique enough, Wigle.net may access the device's "hidden" network in some cases. If you want to keep that system hidden, use Ethernet.
Reset Your Router
A factory reset wipes out the configurations for your Wi-Fi network and the settings. If the password to the app is lost or forgotten, the user can't access it. Rebooting your router will remove most common firewalls viruses and worms, including the notorious VPNFilter.
Most routers have dedicated factory reset buttons that you should simply put in a paperclip. What can I do with a factory reset? Here's how you do it.
- Locate your router's reset button, which is usually at the back of the router.
- Get a paper clip or any pointed object.
- With the use of the paper clip, press and hold the reset button for 30 seconds.
- Wait 30 seconds after pressing the Reset button for the router to reset and power back on fully.
Risks of Unsecured Wi-Fi Network
1. Using Your Login Credentials
One of the risks of using an unsecured Wi-Fi network is that hackers could steal your data. Hackers can see what websites you visit. They have access to files shared on open Wi-Fi connections and can insert malware into the connection.
2. Stealing Your Important Data
Hackers could also possibly steal your passwords, bank data, and other sensitive information. They might access your online banking transactions. Worse is using your credit and debit cards linked to your critical online accounts.
3. Steal Your Bandwidth
Another danger is that hackers will steal your bandwidth. This is the point at which they consume all the data on your account, leaving you with none to do any work. If the hackers used your internet limit without your knowledge, it would also raise your internet bill.
4. Using Your Network for Illegal Purposes
Most hackers will use your internet for illegal purposes like uploading and downloading copyrighted content. This could get you into hot water with the law, especially if they download child pornography. The police might also track them through their IP address which is linked to your account.
Blocking Wi-Fi Hackers FAQ
1. Is it easy for someone to hack Wi-Fi?
Yes, many free software programs allow someone to hack into Wi-Fi networks, so there is always a chance it will happen in the future.
2. What should I do if my neighbor hacked my internet?
Check the router's IP address and see what names have been connected to it in the history logs. You can remove the unknown connected devices and change your password immediately.
3. How do hackers gain access to my Wi-Fi network?
Sniffing is the most common hacking technique employed by cybercriminals. Hackers can use this method to intercept and manipulate any data packet transmitted between a device and a network router. When the packet has been hijacked, the hacker transfers it to their gadget and attempts to decipher it using brute force programs explicitly built for this purpose.
4. Can hackers take control of my Wi-Fi?
Yes, hackers can breach the security of your home Wi-Fi by using a technique known as DNS (Domain Name Server) hijacking and potentially causing you a great deal of harm.
5. Does turning off Wi-Fi prevent hackers?
When in doubt, turn off your Wi-Fi radio when not in use since this will protect you from the majority of Wi-Fi-based assaults. It's simple to limit the chance of your Wi-Fi device automatically joining a rogue network, being traced between places, or leaking personal information by following the instructions above.
With so many people using Wi-Fi networks to connect worldwide, keeping a network completely secure can be challenging. However, there are numerous ways to help ward off hackers and prevent them from gaining access. We hope this blog post has helped you know how to block hackers from accessing your Wi-Fi network.