The majority of U.S. households connect to the internet using a wireless router. Wireless internet (Wi-Fi) is a convenient way to allow multiple devices internet access without the inconvenience of ethernet cords. However, Wi-Fi presents security risks to information stored on your devices including: documents, photos, financial information, login credentials and emails. Fortunately, most of these security risks can be easily eliminated or reduced with a few easy changes to your network setup.
5 Tips for A Secure HomeNetwork
- Change Your SSID and Password The most common mistake for homeowners to make with their internet security is that they never change the basic credentials they are given when their internet is installed. By now you should know that none of your passwords should be “password” or “1234” and that rule of thumb includes your home internet credentials. Ensure that you change your SSID (Service Set Identifier) to something that would not be easily guessed (i.e. if your last name is Johnson, your SSID should not appear as JohnsonHome). When creating your password, make sure it is long (more than 8 characters) and created with a mix of numbers, letters and symbols.
- Keep Software Up-to-date This includes all your devices that regularly connect to your home’s Wi-Fi as well as the router itself. Some routers have the capability of auto-updating their software, however, many do not and will require manual updates. A small price to pay when avoiding potential threats to your internet security.
- Disable Your Router When Away Many of us take a lot of precaution when planning to leave our home for an extended period. We have neighbors bring in our mail, take out the garbage, and we set-up timers to turn on lights to give the appearance that someone is home. We live in a day and age when we also need to plan for our home internet while we are away. Turn your router off and rest easy knowing that your most valuable information is protected while you are gone.
- Enable Network Encryption Encrypting your home internet network is as easy as turning on a setting. Encryption language is constantly changing to keep up with more advanced hackers. Currently the best encryption setting is WPA2.
- Use a Firewall Firewalls are different than anti-virus software. Anti-virus software scans incoming files to look for threats while a firewall stands guard looking for outside attempts at accessing your information. The best wireless routers come with the hardware firewalls pre-installed. If your router does not have pre-installed firewall hardware, you can easily install a firewall device on your router.
We work hard to keep our homes and families safe, and the information found on your wireless devices is just as vulnerable and important. Don’t wait until it’s too late to ensure that your home network is as secure as possible.
Need help? We can assist with all your home networking needs.