Stop WiFi Theft page 2

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Once you have installed WiFi Police, simply run the app and scan your network. You will see a list of connected devices. If you don’t recognize a device on the list, someone is stealing your WiFi.

Keep in mind, WiFi thieves often disconnect and connect to the network as needed. The thief in my building actually compromised several WiFi access points and switched between them. If you can’t catch the thief with the app, there are telltale signs of WiFi theft. Erratic Speedtest results, poor streaming quality, AirPlay dropouts and intermittently slow Internet access point to WiFi theft. The problem is, these issues could be caused by a bad ISP, faulty cable lines or other problems. If all else fails, change your WiFi password.

Change Your WiFi Router’s Password

Creating a new WiFi password is the easiest way to prevent WiFi theft. You can’t just use any old password. You need a really long, random, cryptic password. I highly recommend using Gibson Research Corporation’s “Perfect Passwords” web page. The website is plain, which often indicates a brilliant mind. I’ve found that there’s an inverse relationship between web design skills and deep technical prowess. Although the website may seem ordinary, the generated passwords are industrial strength.

I recommend using the “63 random printable ASCII characters” password, however, you might not want to use all 63 characters. I ended up using 20, which is sufficient. It also makes it much easier to enter on my Apple TV. You can copy and paste the password on most of your devices. If you own an Apple TV, you must enter it with the on-screen keyboard.

I also recommend making the password legible. Some fonts make I, l and | look the same. This is true of Notes. I temporarily added the password to Notes so I could copy/paste it to other devices and enter it on my Apple TV. Unfortunately, it took three attempts because some characters look alike. Try using a font which delineates these characters. You can also replace any ambiguous characters before you change the password on your router. Just pick a random character that doesn’t look like any other character.

With a 20+ character password, it will take years for a “hacker” to crack your password. You can just sit back and relish in the thought that s/he is sweating over cracking your new password.

Turn Off WPS

Wi-Fi Protected Setup is one of the biggest security holes in wireless networking. My AirPort Extreme router doesn’t even offer the technology, because it’s so easy to exploit. If you have WPS on your WiFi router, turn it off. This is probably how your router was hacked in the first place. Without WPS, you will have to enter your WiFi password manually. It’s a one time thing. WPS is so easy to crack, you may as well just run an open WiFi network.

Give Your WiFi Router a Nefarious Name

Victims of serial WiFi theft often resort to renaming their WiFi router. I’ve seen names such as “Xfinity Surveillance Van”, “FBI” and other threatening monikers. Personally, I don’t think there’s much value in renaming your WiFi router. WiFi thieves aren’t going to be fooled by this. One of the networks in my building is called “stop stealing my WiFi”. That will more likely present a challenge to the thief. These are not morally upstanding people. They probably enjoy tormenting others. I’m sure some people just don’t want to pay for Internet access. It doesn’t hurt to rename your WiFi router, but it probably won’t deter hacking. next page →

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