A secure wireless network encrypts all the information you send using that network.
That’s why it’s so important that you set up your Wi-Fi network so that it’s not susceptible to someone hacking into it. That’s because there are a number of easy ways an attacker could snoop on your network. First you need to make sure you use an internet provider that’s safe for you,many of us don’t know what to do in order to find the best provider; however, by looking online you’ll be able to find a lot of services with great reviews.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a laptop, a tablet, a cellphone, or a home Wi-Fi network.
“These are things that you can do and there are a few ways you can set it up,” says Gwynne Shotwell, principal security strategist at Cisco. “It might be that you have a smartphone. It might be that you have a smartphone that you install on your laptop. It might be that you have a tablet. And you have one of these routers in between. And you could set it up to get a connection from a device that comes out of your Wi-Fi network.”
How hackers can spy on your wireless network
First, hackers could use your router as a Wi-Fi antenna. “For wireless devices it’s all about the antennas, the antennas are the things that they use to transmit information,” says Shotwell. “The antennas make it possible for them to transmit. They allow them to create a Wi-Fi network.” In the case of a mobile phone, the antenna is built into the phone. “When it comes out of the box, it’s a handset that’s capable of connecting to the wireless network in the area. And if you’re in a crowded place, your handset might take advantage of that and go onto the wireless network when you’re not even there.” Wireless routers don’t do that. “If there was a hacker who is connected through the Internet to the Wi-Fi network and has found a way to communicate with the antenna on the router, he could intercept the information that’s being sent and they could potentially intercept it before it leaves your router and go on and do something with it,” says Shotwell. “So the antennas that they build for their router, that they put in their home, they can steal the information from that antenna in your house and get it to go on to the router.”
When an attack like this is successful, it becomes more important than ever to keep a secure digital backup of any important data that you store online. That’s because an unsecured router can be used by an attacker to infect your computer. When the hacker attempts to download malicious software, he might use a virus to infect your routerand that can also cause problems with your computer.
How to Keep Your Router Secure With an older router that is still using firmware that has not been updated to the latest version, you might not even realize that it’s been hacked. “This is very common,” says Shotwell. “We will get an email from someone saying they’ve infected their router with malware and they need to replace it.” If you have not updated your router’s firmware, you can find instructions on the Internet on how to do so.
If your router is completely infected, you might want to try purchasing a new router, says Shotwell. If you are using an older router, however, you might want to check with the manufacturer to see if they can help. Even if you purchased a router that does not use firmware older than June 2012, you could still be infected with malware that will get installed when you log into your router. That malware will probably have been installed by a hacker