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Hackers have acquired so much prowess that they can attack a supposedly secure site like Equifax and acquire personal information on about half of the American populace. After that high-profile breach, you may fear that your business network is a sitting duck. While no network can be 100 percent secure, you can take practical steps to make these dangerous hackers less of a threat.

Rename Your Wireless Router

Don’t make a hacker’s job easier by announcing your service set identifier, or SSID, to the world. If your business is named Smith’s Furniture, your router shouldn’t pop up as Smith’s Furn, Furniture Guy or Recliner Heaven. You might as well paint a red arrow in the direction of your wireless setup. Experts recommend naming your SSID something vague and not related to your business. Server 5, Wireless 666 or Ocean’s 12 would all be better choices.

Add Encryption to Your Network

The FTC makes their position perfectly clear: encrypt your wireless network. When you use a form of encryption, the information you send and receive is “scrambled.” If a hacker accesses the information, they will not be able to easily decipher it. You can choose from Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). The FTC notes that old routers that rely on WEP encryption are more vulnerable. You should choose one that can handle WPA2 encryption, the strongest program available to you. An alert was just released that WPA2 can also be penetrated.  There are ways to ameliorate it.  But, they are not one-size-fits all.  Call us or go to your manufacturer’s’ website to find out how.

Take Login Precautions

For convenience sake, you may have kept the login and password that came with your wireless router. Most people follow this procedure at home, as well. Business owners, in particular, need to protect their network by changing these preset credentials to a login that would be impossible to guess — no variations on your business name — and a strong password that uses a mixture of caps, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. If you can remember it without practice, the password is too weak. You should also make certain that you activated the firewall that came with your router.

You may not be able to stop every highly skilled, determined hacker, but you can prevent most security issues by taking a few easy, commonsense steps with your business network. Hackers are like all thieves: They will bypass the protected car for the one with the unlocked doors.