30DISC – Days 12&13 – WiFi Security Checkup

Something a little easier for the weekend.

Today’s challenge – WiFi Security Checkup – Direct Link to Guide Page

After the Challenge with NoScript, it’s nice to have an easier couple of days to kick some simple goals. In this Challenge we’re locking down our wireless networks at home (all our participants have corporate WiFi networks at the office).

Why should you lock down your wifi? Here are a couple of reasons:

  • Because someone sitting in a car down the street from your house could access every computer on your home network
  • Because criminals are using the presence/absence of a WiFi signal to indicate if someone is on holidays and ripe for burglary (see post here)
  • Because you get to rename your wireless network to something interesting or passively troll your family/friends/neighbours

The steps listed in the linked post are pretty clear on what you need to do, namely:

  • Change the administrator password (and username if you can)
  • Disable remote administration
  • Use encryption for the wireless signal
  • Disable WPS setup
  • Change your Wireless network name (SSID)

Depending on the type of Wireless Access Point you have, these changes can take 10 minutes or it can take an hour. Different brands of devices deal with the same situations in very different ways, some much more complex than they need to be. If you only do one of these Challenge topics, this is the one you should do yourself!

Geoffrey: Thankfully there was nothing for me to do on this one, except to change the administrator password as it has been the same for a year or so now. All the other steps I had already taken when I set up my home networking when we moved into our new house.

Juan & Diana: Given their cohabitation status, we can join these two in here. Surprisingly, Juan offered to do this one, which was entirely not what I was expecting, given how much better Diana has been at going through these Challenges. Even more surprising was how quickly Juan “got” what he needed to do and got it sorted. What was less surprising was how grumpy their children were when they discovered that all their devices no longer had Internet connectivity and they had to ask Dad for the password (which apparently cost them a variety of pledges).

Priscilla: This one pleased Priscilla, if for no other reason than she could outsource it to her daughter! Apparently most of it had already been done, besides updating the administrator password and disabling WPS.

A reprieve for the team, into some heavier stuff in the next week.

Previous Days Here:
Day 0 – Introduction to the Team
Day 1 – Installing Operating System and Application Updates
Day 2 – Set Up A Standard User Account
Day 3 – Review Privacy Settings
Day 4 – Setup Private & Secure Email
Days 5&6 – Weekend Project #1
Day 7 – Install a Password Manager
Day 8 – Change Your Passwords
Day 9 – Browser Security
Day 10 – Firefox Security Add-ons
Day 11 – NoScript Security Suite


Written by Geoffrey

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