Your Wi-Fi connection is one of the most important services in your home today. Because of wireless internet networks, it is possible to connect your computer, mobile devices, and other wireless devices to the internet without the clutter of connections cables.
The greatest issue with wireless internet connections is that the signal can be intercepted by third parties and use your broadband to access the internet if they are within the access range. This practice, known as piggybacking, comes with three main disadvantages:
- It can increase your monthly internet bill, especially if you pay per byte of transferred data.
- It lowers the speed of your connections since it is shared with multiple unauthorized users
- It is a security hazard since other users can use the connection to hack into your computers and devices connected to the network.
Here is how to secure your Wi-Fi connections at home.
Go To Your Router Settings Page
This can be done by typing 192.168.1.1 then enter the username and password to the router. You can access a digital manual online for the login details if you do not have the hard copy.
Create A Unique Password
Once you log into the router, one of the things you need to do is change your router password. Usually, routers come with a default password, which is easy for anyone to guess. Replace the router password with something more personal and harder to guess. The default login details are usually admin/password.
Changing the password makes it harder for other people to access the network, ensuring you maintain the security needed. The password can be changed through the administration tab on the settings page.
Change The SSID Name To Your Network
The SSID, also referred to as the Wireless Network Name of your router comes in a default setting. This means that the name of the router is usually the brand name. Even though changing the SSID name will not make the network more secure, it is easier for authorized users to know which network they are connecting to.
This setting is under the basic wireless settings on the setting page. Once you change the router’s name, you will always be sure to connect to the right wireless network even when there are multiple active routers. Never use your personal details or address for your SSID.
Enabling Network Encryption
To protect your Wi-Fi connection from being used by other computers and devices in your area, it is always important to encrypt your Wi-Fi signal.
There are numerous different encryption methods for wireless connections like WPA, WEP, and WPA2. WEP is the least secure since it is the basic encryption even though it is the most compatible with numerous devices, even those using older hardware. On the other hand, WPA2 is the most secure though only compatible with devices that use hardware manufactured late than 2006.
To encrypt your Wi-Fi signal:
- Go to the wireless security settings on the configuration page.
- Choose the security method you would like to use.
- Enter a passphrase that will be used to access the network.
- Ensure it is a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters to make it hard to crack.
Once done, save the changes.
Ensure Your Firmware Is Up To Date
Every router runs a low-level protection software referred to as the firmware that controls all router processes. The firmware sets the security standards for the network and defines how devices can connect to the router, among other functions.
While some modern routers come with automatic upgrading, it is always important to manually check to ensure the firmware is updated. This ensures your router is up to date with the later security patches and bug fixes. This ensures it is protected from the latest security breach programs.
You can easily update your router firmware through the control panel. Each router comes with a designated button for a firmware update that should not be hard to find from the router control page interface.
Secure Your Devices
One of the easiest ways to compromise on the security of your router is to connect with a device that has been compromised. If a device connecting to the network is compromised, hackers can use it to gain access to your network. Take care of your privacy and buy a good anti-virus program for your household devices and ensure all other devices accessing the network are scanned before access.
With so many devices around the home connected to your Wi-Fi, it is always important to ensure they are safe and protected from cyber-attacks. Once they are connected to your Wi-Fi, they are connected to your entire home network.