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What is SSID?

What is SSID?

Once your device is connected to a network, you can save its details and connect automatically each time you enable your Wi-Fi.

SSID is commonly used by most wireless networks around the world. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s safe. In fact, it’s considered to be one of the least secure ways of connecting to a network. One common problem with SSID is that even if you select the option to have it hidden from other Wi-Fi users, modern software and apps make it possible for their users to discover any networks available – including your own.

Unfortunately, SSID can also contribute to falling victim of a cyber attack. In 2016, TalkTalk customers had their Wi-Fi passwords stolen by hackers in a Mirai malware attack which took down TalkTalk and the Post Office's broadband networks. Hackers managed to reveal the routers’ SSID code, which in turn provided them with the information on where they were being used. Cyber criminals can also take advantage of data packets which have travelled through your device. If intercepted, they can use traces of the SSID to obtain personal information, including the name of the network you use.

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Apart from being a potential security issue, an SSID can also be the source of aggravation and even neighbour disputes, especially if multiple other people in your apartment building or street use the same ISP – which is quite common, as sometimes one specific ISP is recommended in a given area. This could mean that multiple networks in a close proximity will have similar default SSIDs, especially if the network names are left unchanged. If unprotected, this could lead to devices connecting to networks belonging to someone else. Whether accidental or on purpose, the owner of the network could be left with having to cover the costs of someone else exceeding the download limits.

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