How to Hide Your Device from Revealing Wi-Fi SSID
Wireless networks can often present vulnerabilities that pose a risk to your privacy and the security of your device. Wi-Fi technology has allowed people to stay connected on the go. The technology is ubiquitous; whether you are at home or in a mall or a shop, you are likely to find a Wi-Fi network.
The way wireless networks work, especially Wi-Fi, may allow an opening for a hacker to invade your privacy. Because of that reason, we have taken the responsibility to show you how to hide your device on Wi-Fi and why.
How Wi-Fi Works
Wi-Fi is a modern wireless technology that adheres to the IEEE 802.11 standard. It is likely that you have connected to a wireless network at least once in your life. The process is simple; scan for a wireless network nearby, enter a password if it’s protected, and connect. The underlying standards have made it possible for a seamless connection every time, on any device, and anywhere on the planet when it comes to Wi-Fi.
An SSID – short for Service Set Identifier – is a name for a network that allows people to distinguish a network from the rest. If you have a wireless router at home, then naming it differently allows you to distinguish it from the neighbor’s Wi-Fi network. And every time you in range, your device connects to known networks automatically. While it is convenient, it also presents a risk.
How You Can Be Hacked
Devices that are set to auto-connect or scan for Wi-Fi are constantly scanning for known and new SSIDs. It is a call to ask are there any Wi-Fi networks in the area? And Wi-Fi networks nearby begin to appear. The device will send out a probe to reconnect if it dropped the connection with a network. The request reveals the name of the SSID the device wants to reconnect with and the device’s MAC address. A third-party in the vicinity can pick up on that signal and uncover the SSID even if the Wi-Fi network has been cloaked.
Similar to the device, a Wi-Fi network is also constantly broadcasting its SSID as a call for does anyone wish to connect? And nearby devices that pick up the broadcast and request to connect. It is often advised to keep the SSID cloaked so that a bad actor cannot set up a fake access point. Connecting to this fake access point will leave you exposed in more ways than one.
The hacker can show you fake login pages or check unencrypted data packets that could contain some information about you. Although most internet communication is secure thanks to HTTPS, DNS queries are not. A redirection to a fake login page can capture the login details of your bank or social media account.
Is Disabling Autoconnect Enough?
Unfortunately, disabling SSID broadcast or disabling auto-connect on a device cannot prevent a third-party from learning the SSID. Nearly every household today has a Wi-Fi network, and it’s a fair estimate to say there are a couple of hundred in a neighborhood. Even if you hid the SSID, your device would eventually send out a probe to a known SSID. It can be listened to by a hacker in the vicinity. There is also the possibility that the hacker can see connected devices and intercept data packets that contain the SSID.
It may also attract hackers towards you because disabling the SSID is not expected from an average user. If you know your way around the router’s setting, chances are you savvy enough and have something to hide.
The better way is to set a strong WPA2 PSK password for the Wi-Fi connection. Always change the default password when you purchase a new router; include numbers and symbols as well for the best strength.
Secondly, using a VPN encrypts communication, including DNS queries. It creates a virtual tunnel between you and the access point, preventing hackers from sniffing for data packets. Connecting to iProVPN is as simple as clicking on a button. Once connected, data will be protected using AES 256-bit encryption. So whether you are home or relaxing in a coffee shop with your headphones on, the vulnerabilities of public Wi-Fi will not pose a risk to you.
Try iProVPN for Free
For the next couple of days, iProVPN is celebrating its launch by offering a 1-Month subscription for free to new subscribers. Try out iProVPN and connect securely to any Wi-Fi network.
Start Browsing Privately!
iProVPN encrypts your data for protection against hackers and surveillance. Unblock your favorite streaming platforms instantly with the best VPN for streaming.