1. Install a Firewall A firewall helps protect your PC by preventing unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer through the Internet or a network. It acts as a barrier that checks any information coming from the Internet or a network, and then either blocks the information or allows it to pass through to your computer.
2. Change the Administrative Password on your Wireless Routers Each manufacturer ships their wireless routers with a default password for easy initial access. These passwords are easy to find on vendor support sites, and should therefore be changed immediately.
3. Change the Default SSID Name and Turn Off SSID Broadcasting This will require your wireless client computers to manually enter the name of your SSID (Service Set Identifier) before they can connect to your network, greatly minimizing the damage from the casual user whose laptop is configured to connect to any available SSID broadcast it finds. You should also change the SSID name from the factory default, since these are just as well-known as the default passwords. NOTE: Even though the SSID is disabled the SSID is included in the data packets that are transmitted and is easy to discover.
4. Disable DHCP For a SOHO network with only a few computers, consider disabling DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) on your router and assigning IP addresses to your client computers manually. On newer wireless routers, you can even restrict access to the router to specific MAC addresses.
5. Replace WEP with WPA WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is a security protocol that was designed to provide a wireless computer network with a level of security and privacy comparable to what is usually expected of a wired computer network. WEP seeks to establish security by encrypting data transmitted over the wireless computer network. Data encryption protects the vulnerable wireless link between clients and access points. Once this measure has been taken, other typical wire computer network security mechanisms such as password protection, end-to-end encryption, virtual private networks (VPN’s), and authentication can be put in place to ensure privacy. Unfortunately, WEP is a very weak form of security that uses common 60 or 108 bit key shared among all of the devices on the network to encrypt the wireless data. Hackers can access tools freely available on the Internet that can crack a WEP key in as little as 15 minutes.