Users can secure a wireless network by encrypting it, using anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall programming, changing the router's default name and password, and limiting access to the network. Network users also should turn off their wireless networks when not in use to minimize the risks of it being hacked.
Using encryption scrambles information sent across the Internet into a code that is not easily readable by others, preventing unauthorized access to sensitive information. As of 2014, there are two types of encryption: WEP, or Wired Equivalent Privacy, and WPA, or Wi-Fi protected access. A computer, router and other connected equipment all must use the same encryption method. WEP is an older encryption method that is susceptible to hacks. Older routers that use WEP should be replaced with newer ones that use WPA.
Users should check to be sure that the encryption feature of their router is enabled, as some routers may have encryption disabled by default. Check the router's manual or company website for instructions detailing how to enable this feature. The instructions also should describe how to change the router's name and preset password. Changing both of these features to unique values creates a more secure network. Users can limit access to the computer's network by limiting the specific media access control, or MAC, addresses allowed to access the network.