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What is an SSID and Should You Hide It?

January 20th, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Jordan Pioth

WiFi router on yelow background

Network security is essential for an organization to avoid being a victim of a cyberattack. Cyberattacks often cost victims hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair their network after an attack has taken place.

If you do not know what an SSID is or whether you should hide it, your network may be vulnerable to malicious actors. Learning what an SSID is and how you can hide it will increase your network security and help avoid a cyberattack.

Coeo has helped thousands of customers with their network security and knows how important it is to secure it. We want to help your organization secure your network by educating you on what your SSID is and how to hide it.

By the end of this article, you will know what an SSID is, how to hide it, and if your company should hide your SSID.

What is an SSID?

A Service Set Identifier (SSID) is the name of your network and the way others can identify your network.

When you look for a WiFi connection on your phone, laptop, or other devices, the network names that come up as the options you can connect to are the SSIDs of the available networks.

Not only is an SSID used to identify a network, but it is also used when data is being transmitted on a wireless network. Every packet of data carries an SSID to identify the network it belongs to when it is being sent over a network.

This helps when identifying a cyberattack or other malicious actors as well.

If the SSID showing on a packet of data points to a network with a reputation for being malicious, your network security will block the data from entering the network and prevent it from causing damage.

In most cases, when you first receive your WiFi router, your SSID is set up as a default name with a default password. It is important that your organization change your default SSID and password set-up by your provider to secure your network.

Most times your default network name is not unique and can show up under another default network’s name. For example, if your default SSID comes up as “MyHomeWiFi” this can be the same name as another default network name in the area.

To avoid random devices trying to connect to another network with the same name, it is important to change your SSID to a unique name that distinguishes your SSID from others.

Additionally, your default passwords are also not going to be unique making it easier for hackers to guess passwords correctly and attack your network.

Remember, your default passwords are also set up by a person working for an outside organization so that person will have access to your passwords and information making it important to change your default passwords as soon as possible.

How to hide your SSID

Hiding your network SSID prevents your network from showing up as an available option for devices to connect to. When someone wants to connect their device to WiFi, your network will not show up for them to connect to if your SSID is hidden.

Hiding your SSID can be beneficial to your company and can help secure your network. If you hide your SSID, your network will be hidden from hackers and malicious actors looking to find networks to penetrate.

There are a few steps you can take to hide your SSID.

1.    Find IP address

Open your web browser and search for the IP address of your WiFi router in the address bar. Once you have pulled up your WiFi router information, type in the username and password of your router.

2.    Go to wireless settings

Once you open your router’s control panel make sure to go to the wireless settings and find the SSID broadcasting option.

3.    Switch the broadcasting option off

Once you find the SSID broadcasting option in the wireless settings, your broadcasting option is probably turned on by default.

After all the devices you want to be connected to are connected to your network, you may switch this option off so it is not visible to the public network.

Should I hide my SSID?

Hiding your SSID can help secure your network. However, it may not be the right approach for every organization. It is important to note that hiding your SSID will not secure your network without taking additional steps.

While you can hide your SSID, it is important to know that you will still need more security than just hiding the SSID. Since each data packet carries the SSID of the network, hackers can figure out your SSID from your data packets as well.

Setting up more sophisticated passwords, encrypting data, and setting up firewalls are other network security options your organization should take along with hiding your SSID.

Additionally, it can be difficult to connect a device to your network if the network’s SSID is hidden.

You can connect your devices to the network before hiding your SSID. However, any new devices that need to be connected to this network will have difficulty doing so.

Your organization may benefit from hiding your SSID but you must also put other network security initiatives along with it to ensure maximum security.

Next steps to securing your network

Now you know what an SSID is, how to secure it, and whether your organization should hide your SSID. This will provide you with another tool to secure your network.

Network security is becoming mission-critical to organizations around the world. If you do not take network security seriously and do not lock down your network as best as possible you could end up being a victim of a cyberattack.

Coeo has helped secure thousands of customers’ networks and knows how important a secure network is to an organization. We want to give you information on SSIDs and other network security initiatives to help you lock down your network.

If you would like to speak with our team to learn more about SSIDs or ask any questions you may have you can schedule an appointment. TALK TO AN EXPERT

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Jordan Pioth

When he's not creating content for Coeo, Jordan loves to watch sports, hang out with friends and family, and anything sneaker-related.