Securing a home network is one of the most important things to do. Leaving it open can put yourself and your data at great risk, if someone was to connect and download or view an illegal website, then it would be you that ends up in court, the fact you may not know how to secure a network is not really a defense.
Luckily securing a network is fairly easy, firstly you will need to get the IP address to connect to the wireless router box. This should be in the user manual or on the back of the box, it will be along the lines of 192.168.0.1 (or a similar variation to this). Once you type this into your internet browser URL bar, you will be presented with an options page, from here you can change and enable/disable all the security settings we will talk about next.
The first thing to do is add encryption to the wireless signal, this will stop the majority of people connecting to your box without the password. There should be a section with a label such as ‘Wireless Encryption’, go to that section and select an encryption method (WPA2 is the most secure) then enter a password and save all changes.
The second most important thing to do is protect your wireless box, as if this is compromised, anyone can change or even remove the password, it is also a good idea to password protect your wireless box. This step wont apply to most people as the box will be in their own home, and no one but themselves will have access.
Unless needed, be sure to disable any remote assistance settings, this is only used if you want to access the router when not on the network, in most cases this setting is useless and just leaves another option for attackers if left turned on.
At this point your wireless should be secure enough for most houses, you have password protected your wireless box and enabled wireless encryption to stop people connecting without a password, you have also ensured that any hardware is in a secure location and switched off remote assistance. If you still want an extra way to help make your wireless network even more secure, then an advanced method will be provided below.
MAC filtering is the process of only allowing certain computers to connect to the network, every computer that connects (or tries to connect to the network) will have a MAC address, you can get the addresses of all the computers within your home and block everything else. This is useful if you have only a few computers, but gets very annoying and time consuming when you have a lot of machines.
Following the methods above,you will have a very secure and safe network, which will be able to block everyone but the most persistent and skilled attackers.