When configuring our WiFi network, we usually make many mistakes that can compromise the security of our wireless network. The most frequent is not changing the password, which is one of the most blatant, but doing the same with the default network name also carries its risks.
Today we are going to focus on this aspect of the security of your connection so that you know why it is also very important not to give clues in the SSID.
Change the SSID of your WiFi
He SSID, an acronym for Service Set Identifier or simply name of the network, is one more of the options that we can configure to our liking, but we don’t usually do it because beyond being able to put some funny or easy to identify name among those of the neighbors we do not see any benefit.
It is highly recommended to change the name of our default Wi-Fi so that it does not include any type of information that could be useful to a potential attacker (name of the organization, contracted service provider, router model, etc.). Therefore, it is best to remove this type of information and change it to something that cannot be associated with our SSID.
To give you an idea, this wireless network name is not only detectable by those devices within range that try to connect, but also travels along with each information packet that is sent from it, so that it can always be identified.
It is at that point where there is the greatest danger. For any attacker who can monitor network traffic, you will be giving clues about that personal data that can help these attackers to sneak into your network and access private information.
If in addition to having the default SSID we have the password that the operator gave us, the risk increases. The operators when they give us a router have a default password. This means that someone using an algorithm could crack that key if they know the model of the router.
Sometimes the security system is adequate and even the password that they provided us is apparently robust, but it is the default one set by the provider sooner or later it will be known on the Internet. It is highly recommended to change the default password. This password could be found out by a potential intruder with the necessary knowledge and tools, also with the help of knowing the name of the network.
Avoid being tracked and traced
Another of the security-level advantages of changing your network name has to do with choosing not to be tracked by third-party services. For years, Google Street View vehicles have been collecting data about the Wi-Fi wireless networks they passed. This data is used so that other users of WiFi devices can geolocate your position. The mobile device sends Google the MAC addresses of the access points within your reach and Google returns the coordinates where the Google cars detected them.
Some users do not feel comfortable thinking that the company has the geolocation and MAC of their WiFi point stored in its database. If you don’t want the MAC of your access point to be in Google’s records, you can always have them not index you in the system.
To do this, you simply have to modify the SSID, or name of the network and add “_nomap” at some point. In this way, Google’s tracking services will understand that your SSID does not want to be included in their records. When a Street View car passes by on the street and receives the signal from our network, it will ignore it and therefore not add it to the geolocation database. And if it already exists, it will delete it.
It should be noted that this only applies to Google itself. For example, Microsoft has a different command and you should use the ending “_optout”. If you want complete anonymity from two of the world’s leading tech companies, you should create an SSID like “1234_nomap_optout” to reject both services.