The internet has become a vital part of 21st Century life, making everything from banking to booking tickets quicker and simpler. But as important as it is, the Internet can also present risk to both our personal security and our financial security.
So it’s absolutely vital to make sure that you have a secure home WiFi network. Leaving your network unsecured could be handing criminals free access to your passwords, bank account and credit card details.
With more employees and organizations now ‘working from home’ and having remote teams around the world, internet security and strong wifi connections are now more important than ever before. The good news is, no matter how techie or non-techie you are, there are some quick and easy ways to not only improve your wifi settings, but also to further protect your personal information and browsing habits.
So here are five simple tips on how to secure your home WiFi network against unauthorized access.
Rename Your Home WiFi Network
Your home WiFi router will have arrived with a default name or SSID (Service Set Identifier) which often includes the name of the manufacturer. This is the name that appears in the list that your computer brings up when you search for nearby wireless networks.
Changing your Wifi router’s name can make it more difficult for hackers to break into your home network. But be sure not to disclose any personal information like your address when you pick the new name.
Access the Internet through a home VPN
Using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a great way to secure your home network and your internet communications.
You will log onto the internet through a home VPN client, which exchanges a security key with the VPN server you are accessing. This allows both computers to verify each other’s identity, and from that point all of your Internet communications are encrypted, keeping them safe from prying eyes.
Through the use of a solution like VIPRE VPN, anyone can further protect their home or workplace with a few simple clicks of a button. While the concept of how a VPN actually works might seem complicated, the actual process of setting it up is quite simple.
And what’s even better, is that most VPN solutions will allow you to select and protect multiple devices with one account. This means you can protect your home computer, work laptop and mobile devices for the same price.
Choose a Strong Password
Along with a default SSID, your router probably came with a default password. These are easy for hackers to crack, particularly if they know the router’s manufacturer.
So while you’re changing the router’s name, change the password at the same time. Use at least 8 characters and include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Making sure that you don’t use this password anywhere else will also make life more difficult for hackers.
Lastly, even if you have an extremely secure and complicated password, you are going to want to change it every few weeks or months. With so many new data leaks taking place all the time, no matter how careful you are, it’s likely this information is eventually going to leak out and be sold on the dark web.
Update Your Router’s Software
Manufacturers will often release updates to a router’s software, which may include fixes for potential security risks. It’s important to install any updates and security patches as they become available to avoid leaving your router open to hackers.
With this in mind, it’s also a good idea to make sure that your internet service provider hasn’t released any new hardware on their end as well. While you might think that they would try and upsell you any of their latest technology, sometimes this just isn’t the case.
Check Your Router Settings
Most Wifi routers have an encryption function but this is usually turned off by default. Switching it on will help to secure your home network, so be sure to do this as soon as possible.
If your router has various forms of encryption available, WPA2 is the most recent and effective.
Be sure to check that your router’s firewall is turned on, as some are shipped with this feature turned off. The firewall is designed to prevent unauthorized access, so if your router doesn’t have this function, it’s worth installing one.
At the same time, it’s a good idea to disable network name broadcasting. This feature is only really necessary for locations which offer WiFi access to visitors, so you can go ahead and switch it off.
Maximizing Your WiFi Connect and Home Security
If you enjoyed this article on how to improve your home wifi and security, be sure to read through the other content found on our site as well. Another topic we recently discussed that is similar to this one, is the latest trends in the technology across WiFi and Bluetooth devices.
With the world of technology and data security changing all the time, it’s important to make sure your connections are always as strong as possible. As always, be sure to check back often, as new content is being added all the time.