Wireless technology has made our lives so easy that we can connect and gain internet access on our portable gadgets like mobiles, smartphones, tablet, computer (PC), and MAC.
You need not connect the devices manually using a cable. When the tethering is active, your smartphone will act as a wireless router.
If you are in a traditional cable broadband service, it will be very difficult to spy or hack your internet connection. However, in the recent technology like mobile internet, Wi-Fi, Hotspot, Tethering has led to a scenario of information or resource theft.
If you are new to latest internet technology, you may leave your mobile wifi connectivity as an open network. This will allow the next-door-neighbor to use your internet connection.
This process of stealing the other’s resource is known as piggybacking. It will lead to several issues:
- Your internet bandwidth will be used without your knowledge and the speed may reduce
- If you are on a per data consumption plan, your bill may suddenly increase.
- Someone may misuse your internet or Wi-Fi IP Address for some cyber crime activities like sending threatening email. In this scenario, the criminal will escape and you may be held responsible.
- Your mobile battery may drain out of charge very quickly if it is in tethering mode on.
- If many devices share same Wi-Fi network, the media, WhatsApp messages, and other personal information can be accessed without our permission. It is called Phreaking
How to Secure Your Mobile Wireless Network
Every smartphone that has the Bluetooth and mobile tethering feature, have the option to secure the internet connection.
It just takes few steps like entering your SSID (Device Name), a password using WPA2 PSK wireless security system.
You can follow the simple steps below to configure a password for your smartphone:
Step 1: Open Your Phone’s Settings App
From your phone’s home screen, open the menu tray and navigate to the settings app. The settings app will help you to configure or customize your phone as per your need. In the wireless and Network section, look for Tethering and Portable Hotspot.
If not found, click on More and look for the options related or closer to tethering and portable hotspot. In this section, you will find the option “Portable Wi-Fi hotspot settings“. Tap on this option.
Step 2: Configure Your Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot Settings
Under the hotspot settings, you may have more options. You can choose to select as per your choice. Click on “Configure Wi-Fi Hotspot“.
Enter the SSID name here. The SSID is nothing but your device name that is displayed when the device is discovered on other wireless connections. Now tap on the “Security” tab. Now select WPA2 PSK (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 – Pre-Shared Key).
If you select none in the security option, your network will be an open wireless network and any can connect and share your internet connection. The bandwidth also is shared.
Now, we are going to enter the password. The password must be at least 8 characters. To cross check the password given, you may tap on the “Show Password” option. The naked password will be revealed.
Now click on the “Save” button to save changes.
In order to get your device visible during wireless connectivity, you need to enable the option “Discoverable“. This will make the device discoverable.
The settings and the Wif-Fi connection will be almost the same for all the smartphones made by Nokia, Sony, Motorolla and other smartphone manufacturers.
Step 3: Reduce the Idle Time for Wireless Connection
If your internet connection is used illegally, the idle time option will disconnect the internet connection when the hacker is inactive for the mentioned time period.
All you need to do is just open the wifi settings and select the time for the Wi-Fi connection to be turned off. In general, it will be 5 minutes or 10 minutes. If you select never, the wifi connection will be active forever until you switch it off.
Step 4: Upgrade Your Mobile’s OS Version
Always ensure that your smartphone is running the latest OS version from the manufacturer. There is new cyber crime news increasing and new malware and viruses are injected in different forms like downloading free apps.
By being up to date with the latest version of operating system, we are safe from all these risks by default.
You can upgrade the firmware version from the About Phone section and check for recent software update.
If you have an update, please update the software right there. In some circumstances, the manufacturer itself will notify in the notification bar.
Read: Turn Off Wireless Hotspot Tethering in 2 Steps
Who is Connected to Your Mobile Wi-Fi Network?
Nowadays, it is possible to find the IP address and MAC address of the device connected to your network.
We can not do anything with regards to the device connected to our network.
Steps to Find the IP Address and MAC Address of Connected Device
- Open Wireless and Network Settings on your phone.
- Tap on the Tethering and Hotspot section.
- Here, you can find the number of devices connected to your network
The only benefit is we can identify the number of devices accessing your wireless network. However, there are apps like WiFiKill available out there which can help you to restrict users from data transfer.
How to Block Wi-Fi Access to The Device Connected to Same Wi-FI Using Wi-FiKill Android App
If you have found someone hacked your Wi-Fi password and sharing your internet, you can prohibit them from accessing.
The WiFiKill App is not available in the Google Play Store and works only on the rooted android phone. You can download it from XDA Developers Forum.