With more devices than ever being connected to the internet, WiFi has become a big part of modern living. Despite making our lives easier, being connected can leave us vulnerable.
Criminals can potentially steal data and information, and this can be devastating for anyone who is affected. More secure WiFi is achievable, but there are some precautions you should take.
If you are asking the question, how do I secure my WiFi, here are the basics:
Passwords, Passwords, Passwords
Your WiFi password should be something difficult to guess and be made up of a range of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Change this regularly for maximum password security.
When you fail to change your default usernames and passwords they can be used to breach your security. If you have ever needed to access the server for your wireless network, you will have discovered you only need a generic login and password. These settings can be changed to give you more protection.
Updated Software and Hardware
Any software and hardware should be kept up to date, particularly components such as the router that directly links to your WiFi. Remember, with more and more connected devices and apps, there is a greater chance the network door will be left open. Only connect products that you trust, and disconnect when not in use.
Often companies release security patches, and these should not be ignored. In addition, you should ensure your connected devices have antivirus software installed. Look for a product that runs seamlessly in the background for real-time protection results.
Your WiFi Network
Your WiFi network should be locked and have a strong name and password. This will prevent anyone from connecting to your WiFi who shouldn’t. Whether it is your next-door neighbor slowing down your internet with downloads, or someone more sinister who is looking for a way in, the chances are reduced with a locked network.
You should also be mindful of other places you use your devices to connect as any damage done can extend to your own home. For example, the local coffee shop may offer free WiFi, but this could result in someone tracing every word you type…including passwords.
Your wireless network will benefit from encryption, as this causes any data to be scrambled and unreadable. You may need some assistance setting this up, as any third party technology you use will need to be replicated on all devices.
Encryption is recommended for busy neighborhoods and workplaces, where the chance of attacks are more likely to occur.
Use the Off Button
Your WiFi doesn’t have to be running all the time and turning it off when not in use will make it impossible for any attacks to take place. You can also switch off, or disconnect any devices that you don’t use regularly. When you turn off your electronics it will reduce your power consumption, which may have an impact on your utility bill.
Having secure WiFi is not something you should be complacent about. Creating strong usernames, networks, and passwords should become a habit. Update your software and hardware regularly to ensure any patches are up to date.
The risk of an unsecured network is more than just extra downloads on your account. It could lead to identifying theft, data theft, and financial loss.