Do you think someone is stealing your WiFi? Avoid it!
Despite the fact that a large part of Spanish homes have WiFi (if we look at the total number of fixed broadband lines, we find that there are almost 15 million), every router is exposed if we do not take the necessary security measures. Network attacks are a very common practice, even more so if we do not put up the necessary barriers, which start with such basic points as the password or the type of protection system we put in place. For this reason, we are going to explain how to protect your WiFi so that they do not steal your connection by connecting to it without your permission.
The first thing to know is whether you are being robbed
If you have any suspicions that someone may be connecting without your consent, the first step to take is to find out if it is true. The most obvious and primary symptom to suspect that someone is stealing your WiFi is slowdown: the connection is not as dynamic and fast as it used to be. Another way to spot connection theft is to look at the data transmission and reception light on your router: a simple way to shed light on this scene is to disable the WiFi connection on all your devices at home; if the light is still flashing, someone else is surfing "hanging" on your connection.
We can also examine our network with a tool called Fing, on their website you will find links to Google Play and the App Store. It will scan the network to which your mobile is connected, and as soon as it does it will show you all the names, IP addresses, manufacturers and MAC codes of the connected devices. To find out if there are strangers on your network all you need is the manufacturer and the name of each device, to know which ones are yours and identify which ones may not be.
If your computer runs macOS, you can use alternatives such as LanScan, an application that works in a similar way, showing you the devices connected to the network.
Protect your router from these unwanted "guests".
If you discover that someone is connecting to your WiFi, it's time to take action. And even if you don't find anyone connected, it would still be advisable to take the following steps to prevent them from doing so in the future. We are going to give you 3 simple to less simple tips.
Change your WiFi password and network name
A simple change of password can make it very difficult to access the WiFi network you are using. To change the password, you must access your router's configuration through the address 192.168.1.1. Remember that you need to know the router's access credentials, which, although they are usually admin/admin, 1234 and the like, you can always check with your operator.
The router's configuration interface will vary depending on the model, but if you look in the basic security sections, you will find the option to change the password for your WiFi network.
To create a secure password, we can use an automatic password generator), estimate its security, and store it in a password manager in case it is impossible to remember it.
Similarly, changing the network name can help eliminate clues about the router you are using. As before, within the router's own settings, you can change the default name of the network.
It is important to know the type of encryption used
Today, most modern routers use WPA2 encryption (which is intended to prevent not only unwanted access to the wireless network, but also the encryption of data sent over that network). This type of encryption is not unbreakable, although it is considerably more resistant to attack than the older encryption known as WPA or WEP.
Within the router's settings you will find information regarding the type of protection they are using. Make sure that the type of security you have is WPA2.
This information is also accessible from the mobile phone, by going to the network details. In the 'security' section you will see whether or not you are using WPA2.
Remember to activate MAC filtering
Configuring the MAC filtering of our router is one of the best steps we can take to improve its security. Media Access Control serves to identify the devices that connect to our router, allowing us to add a white or black list to control who connects and who doesn't in a matter of our interest.
MAC filtering takes just a few minutes and is one of the best ways to block unknown devices from accessing your network.
To configure this section, again, we access the configuration of our router. It is important to write down the MAC addresses of our devices, to include them in the whitelist (if we don't want to lose access ourselves). Again, the location of the 'MAC filtering' section will depend on your router, although it is most often found in a MAC submenu.
This way, when we receive an unknown MAC address, we can detect it and put it on the blacklist, so that it cannot access it again.
Finally, don't forget to turn off your router when you go on holiday or for long periods of time. Obviously, this is not as secure a step as the previous ones, but it costs nothing to press a button, and you can prevent rogues from stealing your wifi while you are away. And remember, these settings and their location may vary depending on each type of router, so if you have any doubts about any of these steps, contact your router company.
If you found this post useful, share it with your family and friends, and help them to protect themselves from all those who try to steal wifi.