Wi-Fi networking is absolutely essential to the modern home. From smartphones to games consoles to intelligent thermostats like Nest, virtually every appliance now requires a wireless internet connection.
As a result, there is all kinds of valuable information being transmitted across your Wi-Fi network – credit card numbers, passwords and sensitive photos and files. Which makes your network a natural target for cybercriminals.
Introducing drive-by hacking
Because you can’t see wireless network signals, you cannot easily tell how far they reach. It is not unusual for your network to extend into the street outside your house – which provides an opportunity for hackers to get connected.
Using basic cracking tools, it is possible to bypass Wi-Fi network security in as little as 10 minutes. It may be that these hackers simply want to use your internet connection to get online – not as serious as stealing your sensitive personal information, but still stealing nonetheless.
So how do you know if your Wi-Fi network has been hacked?
The first sign that your Wi-Fi network has been compromised will probably be a general decrease in internet speeds. The more people connected to your network, the more problems you will have loading webpages or streaming videos
If you notice anything strange happening on your network, you must investigate. The first thing to check will be the Wi-Fi router itself.
The connected devices list
Log into your router using the username and password supplied when it was installed (they are often printed on a sticker on the rear of the unit). The specifics for each router are different, but you are looking for the Wi-Fi status page which lists all the devices that have connected, or are connected, to your network.
These details may be under a section called Attached Devices, Device List or Home Network for instance.
The list should look something like the image below (we’ve blocked out some of the most sensitive details):
Have a look through the listing, looking for any devices that are unfamiliar. Any devices you don’t recognise indicate a hacker may have compromised your network security.
It is possible that some of the devices have “unfriendly” names that aren’t immediately recognisable, but which are completely legitimate. Make sure you check all of your Wi-Fi-attached devices before panicking!
Keeping Wi-Fi hackers out
There are a number of advanced techniques for improving your Wi-Fi network security, like locking down network access to pre-approved devices based on the unique MAC identifier. Far simpler, and almost as effective, is to simply choose a more robust security protocol.
The latest, most secure option is WPA2 as shown below:
Just remember that if you do change the security protocol setting, you may have to reconnect all of your Wi-Fi devices – but that’s a small price to pay to prevent people cracking their way onto the network.
You should also add a second layer of security to deal with the eventuality that a hacker still manages to break in. A comprehensive security application installed on your PCs and Android phones will help prevent your personal data being stolen. This has the added benefit of blocking viruses and to protect younger members of your family from questionable web content.
Wi-Fi security is constantly evolving
you need to stay aware of what is happening on your network to keep the bad guys out. These tips will help you tell if something is wrong and help to formulate an effective response.
In the meantime, download a free trial of Panda Security to protect your PCs while you check your router.
wikileaks docs claim your av is very vulnerable.appreciate a response
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There are three users of the same wifi in my house. How can I tell if either of them have hacked into my internet online sessions?
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Hello, I need help and fast, someone is doing a silent surveillance attack (WIFI) on me and my family which they don’t know but me and when I try to tell them they refuse to believe in me. how can I find out who is doing this please help! they are literally eves dropping on all of our conversations!
I need help… some cars were on the road right in front of my house doing something on their phone, and I don’t know what. My computer was hacked in August of 2020, I was a nervous freak, I am currently in middle school, and I was doing digital. I tried to convince my dad to do something, and after a few months of power points and letters, he downloaded McAfee. Though McAfee’s views are good, it still doesn’t seem right to me. So, I went on some tutorials, and turns out, mcshield.exe is just a cover up for a nonspecific hacker group, which shut downs the operation of McAfee entirely. Back to earlier today, those people were super suspicious. They were out there for twenty minutes on the wrong side of the road, and I’ve heard about hackers on the road, though I am not sure they exist. Plus, I lived in a gated community with 24 hour security and somehow they got permission to come in. I think my hacked computer or any other device emailed the security about them or they just hacked into their computer. If not, this entire paragraph has been in vain. Anyways, I need advice on what to do now, because I have no idea.
Hi, the first thing you need to do for your personal security at home is to go into your Router and change the Router access password and the Wi-Fi passwords (ask the parent first so they know!), Always connect a laptop directly on Ethernet to do this. Do the same on all of your WiFi devices, change the Wi-iFi passwords. Also make sure you are using the highest level security protocol, additionally NOTE the MAC address of all devices such as Door Bells, Video cameras, WiFi extenders and Mobile devices, tabs etc. Then, lock down all of your Wi-Fi devices to those MAC address in the Router. Make a new WiFi password in the router only by connecting your PC directly to an Ethernet port, never through a Wi-iFi connection in fact try to connect everything you can to the router with an Ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi.
BTW Wi-Fi is amazing technology and was invented by Australians.
Then, contact the Estate Comms person and ask them to do the same where it can be done (Connect all Wi-Fi devices with Ethernet and use a locked down MAC address to each device) This will mean that anyone who tries to connect a Laptop to a connection that goes to a switch or Router will fail as the illegal laptop wont be on the MAC address list in the Estate Router)
You could contact other young people in the Estate and set up a security awareness group also, to work with parents and other adults on locking down the Network in each house/ Good Luck!
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Where Do You Stand in the Credit Score Pool?
First, you must see how good or bad your credit is, and the only way to do that is checking it yourself. All the information you need is in your credit reports. Yes, there are more than one, and you should get a copy of all of them. According to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year. You can get your free credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com. You should make a habit of getting your free credit reports every year. Put it on your calendar, so you don’t forget. Why is it important to get reports from all three credit bureaus? Sometimes they don’t share information, so it’s possible to have different credit information from each credit bureau. Moreover, the companies that report and access your credit may only do it from one credit bureau.
Know your credit score. Once you have a baseline credit score to work from, you can start taking steps to improve it.
Credit Repair Agencies
“There is nothing a credit repair organization can do that you cannot do yourself,” says an Experian senior level marketing manager. Not to say there aren’t any reputable credit repair companies out there, but many shady outfits are wanting to scam you for your money. They can also make your credit worse by allowing your accounts to go further and further delinquent. This is so that eventually, they can settle your accounts after they are charged off. The truth is It only requires a little time, effort, and planning on your part to fix your credit.
If you do decide to use a credit repair company, here are a few things to look out for:
Companies asking you to pay money upfront
Not disclosing your legal rights
A non-detailed contract with actual services they would provide you
Recommending you altering your information
Asking you to not deal with the credit bureaus directly