With the popularity of wireless devices reaching 'new heights' over the past decade, most people are now using wireless networks to connect their devices and computers to the web. Most computers, laptops, prepaid mobile devices like smartphones now have wireless capabilities that essentially allow people to get online 'out of the box.'
People can get online 'out of the box' as long as they already have a wireless router and adapter installed in their home. Installing a router usually entails creating a wireless network for the home's devices to access and connect.
Since networks need some kind of security implemented to protect its connectivity, most wireless routers and/or access points are already pre-configured with a WEP security key or password.
The issue with network security
Although most people assume that using a WEP security key is secure, it's not actually as secure as most people think. Some studies have even found that WEP security can be cracked in a little as a minute, mainly due to the flaws that exist in current WEP authentication protocol.
Even WPA security isn't secure enough, as its existing deauthentication protocol also has issues with staying secure.
Due to problems like the aforementioned, no wireless network is truly secure, especially if people are still using WEP or WPA as a security option. Using either way, it's always possible for unwanted visitors to 'snoop' in people's private home networks or find ways to impede the traffic going through that same network.
Though, as long as you understand how to make your wireless network 'truly secure,' you can set up your wireless network to harbor enough security that will keep your home network safe.
Can you make your wireless network more secure?
You can always reduce the security problems in a wireless network by configuring its settings, usually found in the wireless router's web administration interface. You can always access this interface by typing your wireless router's IP address into a web browser.
Before you change your password, configure your router to use WPA2, the safest security configuration for setting a password for your wireless network. WPA2, as of now, isn't crackable via conventional 'security-busting' methods. In other words, most savvy people won't be able to 'break' into your wireless network.
WPA/WPA2 encryption is known to encrypt data packets that pass through the WLAN. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), when paired with a strong password, simply protects a wireless network better against breaches and other attacks in a wireless network.
Changing the default password also helps protect your network, as it will prevent others from getting into your network by 'sheer luck' or by finding out the password on your physical wireless router.
You might also need to change your SSID, the label usually assigned to your router when you 'search' for it when connecting via a wireless device.
Some intruders can actually force their way onto a network by using a network's SSID, since many SSIDs indicate the brand and/or model of a wireless router. Changing that to something more unique will likely keep the identity of your wireless router 'under wraps' and better protected against intruders.