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Tip of the Week: Best Practices for Better Business Wi-Fi

Business Wi-Fi is one of those interesting technologies: On paper, it’s basically magic, but few things can send people into a rage faster than it not being available, or worse, not being good enough. Its capabilities have made it a great asset to the workplace, but you also need to be sure that you aren’t sacrificing your security to use it.

We’ve put together some tips to help you achieve better, safer Wi-Fi.

1. Don’t Trust Your Business Wi-Fi’s Security

Wi-Fi isn’t particularly safe to use, at least without additional solutions to round out its security. Many device manufacturers may claim to have superior security measures baked in, but it is better to take these claims with a grain of salt and stack on additional protections. Take encryption, for instance. Using it will ensure that your data is safe while in transit, effectively guaranteeing that your security will be preserved (at least in this aspect).

It also wouldn’t hurt to actively adopt security best practices while you are browsing anyway, just to add an additional level of safety, like avoiding websites that use the HTTP protocol and not the secured HTTPS protocol.

2. Take Your Network into Consideration

While Wi-Fi may not be inherently safe, there are ways that you can improve its security somewhat. Here are just a few of them:

  • Even if you hide your network, change your SSID from the factory default to a unique but anonymous alternative on the router.
  • Minimize the number of access points to your wireless network by keeping Wi-Fi capable devices off when not in use, and if a wired ethernet connection can be used, use that instead of wireless.
  • Segregate your professional network from guest usage by creating a passphrase-protected guest account. Keep this passphrase updated regularly, and switch off the network when not needed.

Use the Proper Credentials

Speaking of passphrases, you should avoid using poorly-devised, insecure passwords. Weak passwords usually share some distinguishing features:

  • Common words, letters, and phrases being used, like “password123”
  • Characters don’t vary, so there isn’t a mix of letters, numbers, or symbols
  • The same password is used for multiple accounts
  • A password is written down or recorded somewhere insecure

Of course, there are other ways that a user will try to make their passwords as simple to remember as possible… After all, they want to be able to access their account without much trouble.

It isn’t acceptable for your employees to undermine your security like this, as understandable as their reasoning is. A good way to help both your security and the employees who need to access your resources is to encourage the use of passphrases over passwords.

Mathematically more secure than a password and easier to remember, a passphrase takes three unrelated words (like “condemn”, “total”, and “plan”) and turns them into your proof of identity: so, in this case, “condemntotalplan.” Much easier to remember than the traditional password, and simple enough to do without creating a common phrase.

You can also use the traditional means of adding security, like swapping out numbers and symbols. A password manager can help you remember these by decreasing the number you have to remember to one.

WheelHouse IT is here if you want help with any of your security considerations.

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