How Hack-proof Is Your Wireless Network?

Take this quick quiz to see how your network might stand up to a hack attack

Computer in dark office, security alert on screen

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You set up your wireless network many years ago and then you forgot about it because you don’t want to mess with something as long as it’s working. As the old saying goes: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, right? Wrong!

When you set up your router initially, you remember setting a password, perhaps turning on wireless encryption, but your memory is hazy and you don’t really know the exact settings. So here we are. Your wireless network router is doing its thing in a corner, gathering dust, but you really don’t know if it’s even hacker-resistant.

Let’s take a quick quiz and see just how secure your wireless network is. Answer the following questions and at the end of the article, we’ll tell you what your security posture is and what you can do to improve it. 

Give yourself a point for every question you answer yes. While no network is truly "hack-proof" we'll tell you how we think you're doing at the end of the quiz.

Does Your Wireless Network Have WPA2 Encryption Turned On?

Your wireless network needs to have encryption turned on in order to protect data traversing it, as well as providing a way to keep unwanted users from freeloading. The type of Wi-Fi security used makes a big difference.

If you're using outdated WEP encryption, then you are highly vulnerable to having your network cracked by even the most novice hacker. WEP is extremely vulnerable to compromise and there are tools available on the Internet that can crack WEP encryption in a matter of minutes.

If you aren't using WPA2 encryption, you should be. Check out our article on how to encrypt your wireless network for details on implementing WPA2.

Does Your Router Offer a Firewall Feature and Is It Turned On?

Most modern wireless routers have a built-in network firewall that can help protect your network from unwanted traffic attempting to enter and/or leave your network. This can be a valuable tool if configured properly. Check out our articles on how to configure a firewall and also how to test your firewall to see if it's doing its job.

Do You Have a Strong Password for Your Wireless Network?

A strong network password is essential in preventing brute force password attacks. Check out our article on how to change your Wi-Fi password if you think yours might not be a strong enough password.

Did You Change Your Wireless Network Name to Something Unique?

Using a simple, common, or default wireless network name can also put you at risk for getting hacked. Read our article about how to identify if your wireless network name is a security risk to find out why it might be.

Are You Using a Personal VPN Service to Protect Your Network?

A personal Virtual Private Network (VPN) can be an excellent tool for protecting the data on your network and can also provide features such as anonymous browsing. Learn all about the many benefits offered by personal VPNs in our article on why you need a personal VPN

Is Your Wireless Router's Firmware up to Date?

If your router's firmware is out of date then you may be missing out on security patches that could help fix router-related vulnerabilities. You may also be missing out on new features that are sometimes offered in updated firmware. Check with your router manufacturer to see if there is any updated firmware available for your specific model.

Your Score

If you answered "yes" to all 6 questions, then your network is about as secure as they come. 5 out of 6 isn't bad either. Less than 5 would indicate that you may have some security issues that need to be addressed soon so that you are better equipped to sustain a wireless hacking attempt. Try to implement all 6 items to give yourself the best odds of not becoming a wireless hacking victim.