Know Your Network Connection: What is SSID?
Have you noticed that your scanner provides you with a list of connection names whenever you scan for new networks or set up a new Wi-Fi connection? These names are SSIDs. A Service Set Identifier (SSID) is the name of your Wi-Fi network or any Wi-Fi you are trying to connect to.
Your router or different access points broadcast these SSIDs within a given range so nearby devices can identify available networks and connect to them. Default SSIDs usually carry names provided by the manufacturer, while some people prefer to change their SSIDs into something unique, which gives it a more personalized feel.
You can easily customize your SSID by accessing the web-based admin settings of your router.
How to Identify Your SSID?
The maximum length of an SSID is 32 characters. Usually, networks carry custom names to associate them with a place. For example, a café would name its SSID after its business name.
SSIDs are a part of the setup process of a network connection. You can find the default SSID and username/password printed on a sticker at the back of your router usually, or refer to the router’s manual. There should also be a password for your Wi-Fi connection and a separate username and password for the router’s administrator settings.
How Does SSID Connect Us to The Internet?
Whenever you try to connect your device to the internet via Wi-Fi, you have to scan for available network connections nearby and then choose the most appropriate one. Some public Wi-Fi hotspots are not password-protected.
The networks that are available to you are already configured and set to display their SSIDs publicly. Some people may hide the broadcast of their SSID for security purposes. To connect to a hidden network, you need to enter the SSID and password and connect manually.
You can hide your SSID by going into your router’s settings, choosing the option to hide SSID. Save the settings after completing the procedure. Now the SSID will be available to only those who know the credentials.
Your device can automatically connect to known SSIDs when it’s nearby.
The Security Risks Attached to Your SSID
Even though an SSID is used to connect to networks worldwide, it is a relatively unsafe way to browse the internet. Even if you have decided to hide your SSID, making it undiscoverable publicly, there are software applications that can uncover such hidden networks.
While your SSID remains hidden, your internet activity does not. Some data packets may leave traces of your SSID, which can then be easily tracked or intercepted. Hackers could get access to the router.
You must make sure to use strong passwords and strong security features, or else anyone within range could connect to your network.
How to Overcome SSID Security Issues?
To make sure that your connection remains safe and secure, you can adopt certain measures.
We recommend readers to use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters while making an SSID. It should also include special characters and numbers. The combination will ensure that you have a strong password. The first thing after buying a router is to change its default password. Changing the password after regular intervals is also a good strategy.
One option for securing your data is a VPN if you happen to connect to public networks often. Public Wi-Fi is generally unreliable in terms of security. From sniffing data packets or redirecting to malicious websites, the threats are real.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) will encrypt your connection to prevent sniffing and make online activities anonymous with a new virtual IP address. The VPN server will route your internet traffic through its server, allowing you to spoof your identity i-e IP address and geo-location.
Identifying your Wi-Fi connection and learning about the process is important.
This article aims to highlight those important facts and educate the readers regarding associated problems. Remember that hiding your SSID has little to no benefit; you can stay safe by regularly changing passwords and keeping an eye on what devices are connected to your network.
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