What is SSID and How to Protect It
If you’ve ever wondered what SSID is, you’re not alone. It’s a short name that identifies the wireless network you’re using. But SSIDs can be vulnerable to brute-force attacks and guessing, making them a common target for hackers. Thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself.
SSID is a service set identifier
In the IEEE 802.11 wireless local area networking standard, a service set is a group of wireless network devices. An SSID is a natural language label that identifies that group. When wireless network devices communicate, they share the same SSID. Therefore, the SSID is an essential piece of network protocol information.
An SSID is a 32-character alphanumeric identifier that wireless networks use to broadcast their availability. While SSID broadcasting is a common feature of home wireless networks, you can choose not to broadcast your SSID if you want to protect your network. In such a case, you’ll need to enter the correct password to gain access.
It’s the name of a wireless network.
Your wireless network’s name is the Service Set Identifier (SSID). SSIDs consist of eight or more characters and are not usually more than 32 bytes in length. The SSID is broadcast by your router and allows you to find other nearby networks. You can use emojis, numbers, or characters to create a unique network name, but some devices prohibit non-Latin characters.
To connect to a wireless network, you must first set its SSID. You can change the SSID on a wireless router or access point by entering it in the configuration settings or using a Web browser. The manufacturer will set the default SSID of a wireless router or access point. You can change it yourself if you do not wish to use it.
It’s a target for brute-force attacks.
SSIDs are a prime target for brute-force attacks. Hackers have been known to infest sites with obscene content. This content could be pornographic, violent, or racially offensive. Moreover, simple brute-force attacks can reveal simple passwords and PINs.
It can be personal
An SSID is a network name that identifies your home network. It should not give away any personal information. For example, “The Smith Family” is not an appropriate SSID name. A better alternative is “Apartment5E.” A good network name will be a bit more personal but still be short enough to be memorable.
While hiding your SSID can reduce your vulnerability to attack, it also makes your network harder to detect. Although a casual attacker would prefer to target an open network, even hidden networks can be found by determined attackers. The SSID is part of the informational data packets sent by your wireless network, and anyone with network analyzing tools can see it.
It should be not easy to guess
You can make your SSID more challenging to guess by using obscure characters. For example, you can use emojis to make your SSID challenging to guess. Another way to increase network security is by not broadcasting your SSID. While this makes the network less visible to neighbors, it can also attract the bad guys.
However, it is not practical to hide the SSID since it will only make it easier for attackers to detect it. This is because attackers can monitor local network signals and detect hidden networks. In addition, SSID hiding also reduces the usability of the network because legitimate users have to enter network details to connect to it manually.