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How to keep your Wi-Fi network safe

Easy steps to stop neighbours snooping on your wireless network

Article comments

For many years, I didn't bother protecting my home network. Call me crazy, but I didn't see the need.

All my neighbors have their own networks, all of them password-protected of course. So why would I deal with the hassles of WPA2 passkeys and all that?

Not long ago, my router died and when I set up the replacement, I figured it was time for me to get smart and set up some encryption, just in case some cheapskate neighbour decided to start freeloading off my pricey cable Internet service.

And you know what? Hassle city. I'm tired of entering a lengthy password every time I add a new device to the network (which is often). Plus, I have a couple wireless printers causing me major grief with the new WPA2 setup.

So I'm about ready to ditch it and go back to my unprotected ways. And when I do, I'm going to follow the clever advice I gleaned over at Digital Inspiration: I'm going to give my network a scary name.

Specifically, by choosing an unappealing or intimidating SSID (network name), I may well discourage non-tech-savvy neighbors (which, no offence folks, is most of them) to steer clear. The author's example: c:\virus.exe. I like that, but what about something vaguely threatening like FBI-Watchdog? Or thievesbeware?

Actually, think I'll go with this: iwillhackyou. That should be enough to keep the pilferers at bay.

Okay, maybe this is a bit silly. The smarter move is simply to not broadcast the SSID at all, meaning your network will stay invisible to outsiders while remaining available to you. That's the route I'm planning to take, but I still like the idea of a scary name for my network.


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Robert Schifreen said: Rick youre an idiot I do hope this story was merely a troll designed to attract comments and not intended as advice worth heeding Hiding your SSID merely highlights the fact that your network is worth hacking it does not provide any security whatsoever When a passer-by or neighbour downloads a few megs of child porn using your connection whose door do you think the cops are going to break down And when you phone your bank to say that someone appears to have taken all your money and that you want to take advantage of their fraud guarantee do you think theyll take you seriously once you admit that you didnt have any securityDo you use anti virus software Or do you just paint a green line around your screen because you think thats a better way to keep malware away

Mohamed T said: Hi RickNot broadcasting the SSID was an old trick which has no real securityThe problem with this setup is that instead of the wireless access point broadcasting the SSID name you wireless clients that are configured with the SSID will broadcast the SSID So there more devices telling a pottencial hacker what your SSID isCheers

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