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WiFi Security Risks Explained

WiFi Security Risks Explained

 

 

Common WiFi Security Risks

Using public or unsecured WiFi leads to several network vulnerabilities that you may experience. A standard risk is piggybacking. 

Wardriving is a form of piggybacking. It happens when someone drives around in a vehicle looking for vulnerable networks. Then, they create a digital map called access point mapping to exploit the networks further. 

  • Usernames
  • Passwords
  • Credit card numbers

Attackers can also use sniffing tools and file-sharing on public networks that aren't encrypted to collect this information. So make sure to turn off file-sharing to avoid these WiFi security risks. It would help if you also disabled WiFi and Bluetooth connections when you're not using them to prevent unwanted prowlers. 

Further, be aware of shoulder surfing and theft. One of the easiest ways attackers get someone's information is by looking over their shoulder and spying or stealing devices. Thus, be aware of your surroundings when in public. Also, fully encrypt the stored data on your devices in case of theft.

Malware and Ransomware

How to Increase Network Security 

You may be familiar with some common WiFi encryption tools like:

  • WEP
  • WPS
  • WPA (WPA2, WPA3)

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) uses secret keys to encrypt data.

WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) helps home users secure their WiFi network with minimal effort. Usually, there is a WPS button on the router to press, which activates it. Activating WPS allows you to pair devices to the router, similar to Bluetooth pairing. 

WiFi Protected Access (WPA) is an upgrade to WEP. The WiFi Alliance introduced WPA in 2003. It has two protocols: pre-shared key (WPA-PSK) and Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (WPA-TKIP). The latter is more secure. Most routers have a WPA setup. 

In 2018 the Alliance launched WPA3. While WPA3 addresses some of WPA2's shortcomings, experts also found vulnerabilities. But for now, it's the best security users have to protect their wireless networks.  

Added Security Measures

In addition, you can use a virtual private network (VPN) when accessing a public or unsecured network. VPNs encrypt transmission at the start and endpoints. Thus, they keep out unidentified traffic. 

Always change default passwords. Personalized passwords work best. Changing passwords often helps keep the network and your devices safe. 

Plus, it would be best if you restricted network access. Only allow authorized users to access your network.

In the office, separate WiFi networks. For example, you can have one network for staff and another for guests. This will restrict unwanted access to business data and prevent unauthorized users from penetrating the network.

Make sure to install a firewall directly on your wireless devices and home network. A host-based firewall will protect wireless devices, and a router- or modem-based firewall will protect the network. Moreover, install antivirus software on your devices. 

Stay Secure

To find the right solution for your WiFi network, reach out to us at SecPoint. Our cybersecurity experts are ready to help with your personal and business protection needs.