Practices for network security: SSID

While modern wireless networks are not a subject to physical damages of cables anymore, there is quite a lot of security vulnerabilities typical for such types of connections. Needless to say, a lot of effort is put into creating methods for protecting your connection and avoiding various attacks.

If you are willing to understand these practices better, you should read about SSID and its usage that we are going to describe in this article.

What is SSID?

It stands for Service Set identifier (SSID) parameter, more commonly which set the name for your network. Every wireless devices have tendency to be heard and WAPs are generally configured in a way that would scream their presence in the area showing off their maximum range. This is extremely useful when you have bunch of other WAPs floating around and you need to identify your network. Yet the problem is a default SSID will give out information about make and model of your wireless device.

Default parameters for connection

The very first thing upon installing a new router or having Wi-Fi in the house or anywhere is to change the SSID and the default password right away. This is the least security measurement you should take from your end. One does not need to be the cleverest hacker to hack such default Wi-Fi password that had never been changed and remained factory default.

Generally these defaults are intended to setup your wireless connection as easy as possible but can be the root cause of a problem where you have lot of overlapping wireless network. Remember that each WAP in a network needs to be configured in a way so that they have same unique SSID name. This SSID name is then gets included in the header when data packets are being transferred. Any data packet that do not contain the correct SSID name will be straight off rejected. When you decide to change your SSID name, see if your name makes you a ripe target or give off details that an attacker might find the most easy target.

SSID broadcasting

Another tricky practice out there is that you can turn off the broadcasting of your SSID. This won’t show up your network and none other can connect to your Wi-Fi other than people who have or manually get access to this. One downside is, if you are open to share your Wi-Fi with visitors and you have lot of visitors you may find it extremely annoying to turn off the SSID broadcasting. Also, your network will show up as an unknown wireless network. Again, with the right equipment or a simple app, bad players will always find a way to pry on you if they need to.