Wi-Fi went from being part of workplaces to a necessity in your homes. The Internet has become integrated with our lives so much that we can’t go 15 mins without surfing the web.
While having mobile data is an expensive solution and sometimes not very convenient, we have evolved to using routers (AKA WIFI). While routers are a necessity in our homes, it also poses risks as scammers or hackers can access our network.
If your WIFI network is running on default settings and not secured properly means that you are letting anyone with a wireless-enabled device join the network.
Well, I don’t care if someone is using my WIFI.
If you think this way, then my friend you’re sadly mistaken. This is because there’s a risk of exposing sensitive information you send and receive, your emails and banking information.
Don’t worry, though. Here is a list of ways to secure your home WIFI from outsiders. Plus you don’t need to have a lot of technical knowledge. If you’re a daily internet user, you will be able to do these things.
Change the name of your WIFI
The first thing you should do when you get a router for your house, change the name of the WIFI network which is also known as the SSID (Service Set Identifier). Changing your WIFI’s default name makes it harder for malicious attackers to know the type of router you are using.
If a cybercriminal gets ahold of the name of the router and the manufacturer, by some simple google searches they will know the vulnerabilities of the router. Here are some suggestions for names for your home WIFI network:
- This is not a wifi
- The promised LAN
- Nacho Wi-Fi
- Wham Bam thank you LAN
We strongly recommend not to use any personal information in your WIFI name. Don’t name your WIFI as ‘Max’s WIFI” as it will let the hackers know which WIFI belongs to you out of the list of neighboring WIFI networks. Too much personal information on your WIFI name can also lead to an identity theft attack.
Strong, unique password for your WIFI
All of the wireless routers comes with a default username and password. This data is very easy to figure out if a hacker knows the router's manufacturer. As soon as you get your router make sure to change them.
A strong WIFI password should be pretty long. IF we’re talking characters, more than 15 characters. In order to make a perfect password, it should contain:
- Upper case letters
- Lower case letters
Turn off the WIFI when nobodies at home
If you’re not using it then turn it off. If your whole family is going on a trip for a couple of days then it’s better to turn the router off while you’re not at home.
This limits any kind of malicious opportunity for hackers get access to your network while you’re away. It might seem annoying to turn it off but it’s better than having a hacker in your home network snooping around your whole family’s information.
Location of the router
You might have not thought about this but where do you know where your WIFI router is located? Well we recommend to keep the router as close to the middle of your house as possible.
This provides equal access to all the rooms and the showers (for people who listen to music). Another thing is that you don’t want your signal going out of your home where hackers can easily intercept it. So don’t place your router close to the window because there’s nothing limiting the connection from going out of the house.
Use strong WIFI encryption settings
This one is bit tech savvy but it’s very easy to figure it out and set it up. Depending on your router you might have different kinds of encryption. The most common types are WEP, WPA and WPA2.
Usually the routers come by default with the best encryption but it’s better to check it and update them.
Let’s go through the 3 different types of encryptions:
Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP): This is the most popular and the oldest type of encryption. However this has become the least secure of all encryptions because it uses radio waves which are easy to crack. It also uses the same encryption key for each data packet being transmitted.
WIFI Protected Access (WPA): This is the successor of WEP which offers an encryption protocol without the drawbacks of WEP. This scrambles the encryption key which removes the problems caused by cracking the radio waves. However it isn’t the safest option as the legacy hardware and firmware still uses WEP as their main protocol.
WIFI Protected Access 2 (WPA2): This is the most recent and secure encryption type available. If you have this option ALWAYS select this option. It not only scrambles the encryption key but is also does not allow the use of Temporal Key Integrity Protocol or TKIP.
Update the router firmware
The software for the router is one of the most essential parts of your network security. The firmware like any other software you use contains flaws and are fixed frequently by the providers. All the updates come with the fixes of the bugs if otherwise will be exploited by hackers.
The sad part is that most of the routers don’t come with an auto-update feature built in to it so you will have to do it manually. Even for the ones which comes with the auto update feature, you will have to turn it on by going to the settings of the router.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts connections between devices, creating online privacy and anonymity. A VPN can mask your internet protocol (IP) address so your online actions are virtually untraceable. VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections to provide greater privacy of the data you send and receive, even on secured Wi-Fi hotspots. Get yours now from VPN Surf.
Securing our data should be a priority for anyone using the internet. Our data should be safe and secured and out of the hands of untrusted people, and this applies to non-tech people as well.
It won’t matter if your passwords and software on your computer are top-notch if you have a weak wireless network connection. Your security is as strong as your weakest link, and if someone hijacks your WIFI then your data is as good as gone.
This is why we’ve written this guide on securing a wireless network. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and if you want to add something.
Check these blogs about how to keep your wifi safe:
- How To Increase WIFI Security
- Which WIFI Security Protocol To Use On Your Router?
- How To Use Public Wi-Fi Safely
Do you value your privacy online?
Use VPN Surf and surf safely and securely in the open waters of the internet.