How To Secure Your Wi-Fi

You wouldn’t allow a stranger to open your mail or gain entry into your bank account – so why are you not taking similar precautions with your Wi-Fi. Securing your Wi-Fi is incredibly important and here are some tips to do so.

Change The Default Username And Password

The first step to securing your home Wi-Fi network is to change the default username and password.  This should be changed to something more secure. 

The username and password assigned to your network are done automatically by the provider and hackers are able to find a list of these default passwords online.  If hackers are able to gain access to your network, they can change the password to whatever they want.  This will lock you, the owner, out of the network and successfully hijack it.

When you change the default username and password, you will make it harder for attackers to determine whose network it is and get access.  It is important to note that hackers have sophisticated tools that are able to test thousands of potential username and password combinations.  This is why you need to have a strong password that has letters, numbers, and simples that make it harder to crack. If you have a router but can’t find your network security key and wish to change it then take a look at this article for help.

Turn On The Encryption

One of the most effective ways of protecting your network data is through the use of encryption.  Encryption will scramble the data and contents of any messages so they cannot be seen or deciphered by hackers. 

WPA2 is the most secure type of encryption for your home network.  If you have a device that is older than 10 years, it might not be compatible with WPA2.  This is why it is important that you upgrade your devices to ensure the best security and performance.

If you want to see if your router has WPA2 encryption, you need to look at the network settings and go to the wireless properties.  You will be able to select the best method of encryption when you join the wireless network.

Use A VPN

A VPN is a network that allows you to communicate over unencrypted and unsecured networks with privacy.  The VPN or virtual private network will encrypt your data stopping hackers from seeing what you are doing online.  They will also not be able to see where you are located.

A VPN will alter the IP address of your connection to make it appear that you are using a computer in a different location to your home address.  A VPN or proxy can be used with your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet to make any connection more secure.

Hide Your Network

When you initially set up your network, you will be asked to create a publicly visible name or SSID.  Most devices have a default network name that is allocated to it by the manufacturer.  If your neighbors have a router from the same manufacturer, it is possible that they will have the same SSID.  This can be a security nightmare if both these networks are unencrypted. 

A feature that you might want to take advantage of is SSID hiding.  As the name suggests, this will hide your network name from people in the area.  Changing the default name will also stop any hackers from knowing what type of router you have which can reduce the chance of an attack on the network.

Turn The Network Off When You Are Not At Home

The simplest way to protect your network is to turn it off when you are not at home.  There is no reason for your network to be on all day when you are not around to use it.  Turning off the network will reduce the chances of any opportunistic hackers attempting to break into the network while you are out. 

Keep Your Router Software Updated

The software on your router needs to be updated to protect your network and ensure optimum security.  Firmware on a router is like any other software and can have vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.  A lot of routers do not have an auto-update feature which means you need to manually update the software to ensure your home network is properly protected. 

Use A Firewall

Most routers have a built-in firewall that will protect your connection and stop any attacks from hackers.  It is possible to disable the firewall which is why you need to check that this has been turned on.  Your firewall adds a layer of protection to your home network security.

Put Your Router In The Center Of Your Home

A lot of people do not realize that the location of the router can play a role in network security.  If your router is close to a door or window, your signal has an increased chance of being intercepted by someone with malicious intent.  Placing your router close to the center of your home will reduce the chance of hackers connecting to it as the signal outside the house will be weaker.

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