Last year taught us a lot. The majority had to leave their offices and work from home. So, having a secure home wireless network became more important than ever. Cybercriminals recognized the endless possibilities that come from breaking into Wi-Fi networks, and they became a frequent target.
Most of us didn’t do much in terms of cybersecurity after installing a router in our homes. Yet, it is an important device that allows us to access the internet. With that said, your router needs to be as secure as possible. After all, data breaches, ransomware, and other cyber threats are becoming more and more frequent.
Here are a couple of tips on how to boost your home wireless network security:
Set a Strong Password
Every router out there has a default username and password. These are obligatory because you need this information to set up your device. However, it would be best to change them as soon as you get your router up and running. Cybercriminals are well aware of the default usernames and passwords and could use them to gain access to your network.
In case they succeed, hackers will be able to see all the devices connected to your Wi-Fi. So how can you set up a strong password? Make sure your password is long and hard to guess. Don’t forget to use numbers, uppercase letters, and symbols. It will be a bit inconvenient for your guests when they ask you for a Wi-Fi password, but at least you can rest easy knowing that your network is safe.
Turn Off Your Wireless Network When Not in Use
If you are planning to go on a holiday or don’t intend to use your Wi-Fi for a couple of days, turn off the router. It is a great way to prevent possible security breaches while you are away. Not to forget that your network won’t be visible to cybercriminals. You will also be protecting your equipment from power surges, which is a plus.
There are other ways to minimize the visibility of your network. For instance, place your router in the middle of your home if possible. You will get better coverage in all rooms, and the signal range won’t reach too far away. So if anyone is trying to find a wireless network in your neighborhood to breach, yours won’t be so easily discoverable.
Create a Second Network
Even though this sounds tricky, creating a second wireless network is an excellent idea if you work from home. Almost all routers can create a guest network. So you can connect your work computer and other devices to the main network while keeping the guest network open for your friends and family. If a device connected to a guest network gets compromised, there is no way cybercriminals can access your work computer and get their hands on your valuable data.
More advanced routers come with even better options, so look into those if you need to increase security. These allow users to create more than two home networks. It is helpful if you are setting up a smart home and want to be organized. You will be able to group different devices into separate networks, keeping them all in one place. Of course, all devices will still have access to the internet.
Update the Software
Regular software updates are the key to improving your overall cybersecurity. Hackers are relentlessly trying to find potential vulnerabilities and gain access to various devices, including your router. At the same time, developers are working hard to patch overlooked software flaws, so make sure everything is up to date. Unfortunately, most routers don’t have automatic updates.
Thus, users need to update them manually. Don’t forget to check settings and see if your router allows auto-updates. Keep in mind that you still need to turn on this option yourself. Indeed, checking for updates might sound boring, but it is an essential step in keeping your wireless network safe. It only takes a couple of minutes but can save your data in the long run.
Protect Your Devices
So, now that your wireless network is secure, it is time to look at the devices that are always connected to it. You don’t want to have any loopholes because cybercriminals might exploit these devices and still break into your home network. Most of us have at least three devices connected to Wi-Fi at all times.
Start by updating the software on these devices. Patches are an absolute must if you are determined to keep your wireless network safe. These devices should have antivirus software and a VPN. For instance, VPN for Firestick will prevent data from being tracked by hackers. This streaming media player needs an internet connection to work. VPN for Firestick or any similar device you use is a good security measure to keep your information safe.