Before searching “how to stop hackers from using my WiFi,” you need to understand the grounds for it first.
Call it what you may, but a person trying to access a secured network that isn’t theirs is a hacker.
And in this guide, we’ll give you proper guidelines on what to do to deflect and block hackers from penetrating your WiFi network.
To stop hackers from using your WiFi, stray from the default SSID – change it. Then, make sure to establish a WPA or WPA2 key on your router. Check if your router’s firmware is updated. Next configure the administrative username and password of your router, and then activate MAC address filtering.
In case you’re asking how to block hackers from using my WiFi, you first need to make sure that you know the reason why you’re doing so. It’s actually more than just giving them access to your network.
WiFi hacking is simply the act of breaking through the security protocols and barriers of a wireless network. In simpler terms, it is when a person penetrates through a password-equipped WiFi network.
Other than this, though, there are other risks involved when hackers get through the security you’ve set up.
Some of these include:
- Personal or Business Cyber Attack
- Malware Distribution
- Identity Theft (Theft of Personal Information)
- Accessing of Illegal Content
- Eavesdropping or Packet Sniffing
These are just some of the affiliated risks when hackers access your WiFi.
So, by now, you’re probably asking how to stop hacking my WiFi password. We’ve listed down the most effective strategy you can do to keep hackers from getting through your security.
We’ll give you a comprehensive method; with all the steps listed to prevent hackers from being able to access your private network.
The first step is to change the SSID or the network name. This can be done from the admin configuration menu.
Here’s a guide on how you can do it:
- Open a browser and type in the router’s IP address.
- Enter the username and password to enter as the router’s admin.
- Then, navigate to Settings, and go to WiFi Name or SSID.
- After that, change the default WiFi name to a WiFi name you wish to have.
- Click Apply > Save.
QUICK NOTE: You can type in any WiFi name you wish; you just need to change it from the one you have to a different one, it doesn’t really matter what you change it to.
After that, make sure that you set up a password for your WiFi so that no other people can get into it unless they have the password.
Here’s how you can do this:
- Since you’re already in admin configuration, select WiFi or Wireless.
- Then, choose Wireless Settings or Wireless Setup or anything similarly named.
- From there, choose WPA, WPA2, or WPA+WPA2 from the options.
- Enter a security key or a “passphrase” in the field.
- Hit Apply and then Save.
EXPERT TIP: Avoid setting passwords like dates or common expressions as they can easily be decoded. Be as random as possible.
The best way to set this up is by using a password generator and just listing it down on a piece of paper so you don’t forget it.
Following that, make sure that you update the WPA or WPA2 key regularly. As much as possible, change it up at least once (1) every two (2) weeks.
If you have a password generator, you can do it more frequently. Just don’t forget to list down the new password on a piece of paper.
EXPERT TIP: Never save a password by typing and saving it on any of your devices. Write it down on a piece of paper and secure it.
When that’s all done, the next thing you want to do is update the firmware or the software of your router. This can also be done via the admin configuration panel of your router.
NOTE: Usually, firmware updates happen automatically. However, there are instances where it doesn’t do so and you have to do it manually.
Before doing it, make sure that you connect your router to your computer or laptop via an Ethernet cable.
- Open a browser and enter the router’s model + the word firmware update.
- Locate the router manufacturer’s website and select the correct model.
- Download the latest firmware version on your computer.
- When done, on a different tab, enter the router’s IP address.
- Login by entering the correct user admin and password.
- From there, navigate to the Administration > Firmware Update.
- Upload the file you downloaded.
Wait for the process to finish, which will be around 15 minutes,roughly. Then, power cycle your router and your computer/laptop to lock the changes in.
When your computer reboots, the next step you need to do is change the admin credentials of when you access your router’s web administration tool.
Now, take note, this is different from changing the password of your WiFi or the WPA or WPA2. In this step, you will need to change the router’s login info.
- Open a browser and type in your router’s IP address.
- Then, log into it by entering the default (username and password: admin).
- After that, go to Router Settings/Router Management.
- Locate the part where it says router password or anything similar.
- Hit Apply or Save.
QUICK NOTE: You have the option to change the username of the router when you log in, too.
Then, for the next step, you want to activate your router’s MAC filtering setting. MAC filtering is the process of the router checking the MAC address of devices before it allows them to join the network.
The exact location of the MAC address filtering setting isn’t always accurate, but it’s usually found in this path.
- Under your router’s admin config, go to Advanced/Advanced Settings.
- Then, navigate to Security/Security Control/Access Control.
- From there, you should see MAC Address/MAC Filtering.
- Choose the type of filtering you want (depending on your router).
Lastly, you want to disable your router’s WPS function. The WPS is the option where it allows devices to connect to it without the requirement of a password.
- In the router admin settings page, navigate to WiFi/Wireless.
- From there, select WPS or WiFi Protected Setup.
- Depending on your router’s brand, find how you can turn off or disable it.
- Fully disable WPS and Save the changes.
- Once done, power cycle your router and reboot your computer/laptop.
By doing these six (6) steps, you’ll be able to secure your privacy from those pesky hackers who are trying to get into your network.
If you find the steps above too “lenient,” there are other things you can do to make sure that you won’t be preyed on by hackers.
You can use a VPN or a Virtual Private Network to protect and secure your network.
What this does is disguise your connection whenever you access the internet. It creates some type of tunnel, which makes the routing IP address invisible to everyone.
Alternatively, you can also use a different DNS server. By using a different DNS server, you can control certain websites by blocking or restricting some that you find suspicious.
Some hackers often set up DNS- based attacks, so changing or using a different DNS would be a great layer of security.
These are some other things you can do to add another layer of security to your private network. Take note, these are just optional.
They’re guaranteed to safeguard your network, but, of course, some services that offer these require subscriptions or payments.
Read Next: Can Someone Hack into My Phone Through Wifi?
Stop hackers from penetrating your private WiFi network by making sure that you change your SSID and that a security key is in place. Then, ensure that your router’s firmware is updated, change admin credentials. Activate MAC filtering on your router and disable WPS. If it’s still not enough, use a different DNS server or use a VPN.
Learn the secret and never be lost in searching “how to stop hackers from using my WiFi” ever again.
This tutorial will be all that you need if you want a fast, straightforward, and direct guide to keeping hackers out of your hair!
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues.