Depending on how secure your connection is, it is only a matter of two or three clicks for a person to start using your Charter Internet connection without your permission. It may seem like a minor issue, however, they could be using your connection for illegal activities. They could be surfing porn, downloading pirated software, or worse.
You might not have done anything, but it is attached to your IP address and you are the one that the police will look at first. Unfortunately, it is very hard to prove who did the crimes months, or even days, after they have left the scene.
Securing your connection is much easier than you’d think and it could save you a lot of trouble;
Charter Internet Encryption
Ensure that you have some form of data encryption on your wireless router. Encryption is what tells the router to scramble the data it transmits. This makes it more difficult for potential hackers to get into your network. There are three main types of encryption: WEP, WPA, and WPA2. Each a little more secure than the one before it.
WEP stands for “Wired Equivalent Privacy,” and it is a huge step up from using the original standard wireless connection. WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is more secure than WEP, and WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access version 2) is one of the best forms of encryption you can get. This is what I use for my home Internet connection. The entire process of setting up the encryption for a wireless router on your Internet connection can be painless and easy.
Setting up WPA2
Each router and modem brand will have slightly different setup procedures, but we will walk you through the basics that should get you through them all.
- Once you have everything connected and you are on the Internet, open up a browser window.
- In the top address bar type in the IP address assigned to your router brand. The big two are 192.168.0.1 and 192.168.1.1, if neither of these bring up a login screen, then consult your router manual.
- You should now see a request for login. Enter your user name and password. If you do not know it, then try the default in your router manual. If your router was provided by Charter Internet and you are still having problems, then contact Charter Support at 1-888-438-2427 or look at their website.
- Once logged in you should have a screen with a variety of tabs. Scroll through the tabs until you find a line called SSID (Service Set Identifier). It is usually on the tab called setup or configuration. This would be the name of your wireless network, by default it is frequently named after the router manufacturer. Create a unique phrase that will identify the network to you. To increase your security, ensure that the name you chose, does not identify you. Don’t use your last name or nickname. Pick something unique, after all, everybody can see the name of your network.
- Locate a tab or screen that references security. Once on that tab, look for something that refers to your ‘security protocol’, this should be a dropdown box with several options. Change it to WPA-2, WPA2, or some phrasing involving the letters “WPA” and the number “2.” If WPA2 is not available then go with WPA. This will change the encryption your system uses.
- Now you need to set your security key, or password, so that only you, and those you permit, can gain access to your wireless network. Ensure that the password is not easily guessed, it is typically recommended that you use a random string of letters and numbers to increase your security. Capitalization counts, so be careful when entering your new password. Be sure to record the password in a safe location, so you remember it. A good way to remember a password is to create a sentence based off of the letters.
If you are still confused about securing your connection then look at a few of our other articles that describe it more depth. Setting up a Wireless Network Made Easy, walks you through a basic generic setup. Then we also have quick guides on setting up Belkin and Linksys routers.
Don’t be a Victim
The Internet is everywhere, and everyone seems to have a connection at work or even at home. Many even have their own portable connections so they can connect from anywhere with just the push of a button. A drive through any neighborhood with an open laptop will show you a wide array of available networks spawning from individual households.
Make sure that you aren’t one of those connections that is sitting there for easy picking and secure your Charter Internet network using these simple steps. A hacker doesn’t want to take the time to break your password, when someone down the street is easier to access.
Photo credit: Sri Lankan Photos