A Wi-Fi network is a type of computer network in which we connect our devices to a router. That Wi-Fi router, in turn, forms a network of those connected devices and connects them to the internet. In this article we will be talking about the 6 Tips which help us to make our Home WiFi Network Secure.
This is most basic example of a home Wi-Fi network, but they can also be much more complex.
Wi-Fi networking has become very popular among the consumers in recent times, due to its ease of use. You just have to set it up one time, and you’re good to go.
But what most people don’t realize is that this ease-of-use comes at a cost: your internet security.
Since Wi-Fi signals are frequency waves rather than any physical medium, cyber criminals can hack onto your home network and do a lot of potential damage.
In order to reduce this risk, here are 6 Basic ways to keep your Home WiFi network secure.
I have skipped some advanced tips, such as installing custom firmware or turning off DHCP, simply because they’re too complex for a person with no computer-networking background.
On the other hand, the tips I am going to share are very actionable and easy. So, without any further limitations, let’s get started.
6 Different ways to make your Home WiFi Network Secure
1. Change Network Name
This may not sound like a big deal, but it is.
Most people don’t bother to change the default network name for their router, which results in network names such as “D-Link 615”.
Remember, if a cyber-criminal manages to know the model and manufacturer of your router, their task becomes much easier. They will try to exploit any security vulnerability that your router model may have.
While changing the default SSID, make sure not to configure it to your own name, such as “Kerry Smith” or “Kerry’s Internet”. It’s because this is even worse than the default SSID. You’re disclosing your name and have a risk of identity theft.
2. Set Up A Strong Password
Again, this is a basic step for securing your home Wi-Fi, but many people don’t even try to set up a strong password for their wireless network.
Don’t believe me?
Check Out This Article By Fortune and you’ll find out that “123456” and “Password” are still the top 2 most common passwords people set. Although these passwords aren’t just used on Wi-Fi networks, so you get the idea.
How to set up a strong password?
Well, there are many online password generators, such as this, that can help you create a password according to your own preferences. Most security experts believe that a password should contain small + capital alphabets, as well as numbers and special characters.
As far as managing this password is concerned, there are a couple of ways to do it.
You can either use an 3rd-party password management software, such as LastPass, or (if you’re really old school) you can create a text file in your PC and save your password in that file. Although both of them will serve the purpose, first method is more efficient in my opinion.
3. Activate Wi-Fi Encryption
In addition to the Wi-Fi password, there are a number of encryption methods found in your router to enhance the security of Wi-Fi networks.
The first Wi-Fi encryption method introduced was WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). Don’t go by its name. It was very poor security-wise and hard to configure.
After WEP, WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) was introduced and now WPA2 is the latest Wi-Fi encryption method.
These methods are used in combination with other security protocols such as TKIP and AES.
So, the best Wi-Fi encryption method for Wi-Fi network right now is WPA2 + AES (it’s labeled simply as AES in some routers). It gives you WPA2 as well as AES encryption.
If your router doesn’t have WPA2 + AES protocol, you can go to WPA + AES, or WPA2 + TKIP methods. If the latter two methods are absent from your router too, it’s probably time to replace it.
4. Change Router Location
Normal people associate router’s direction with Wi-Fi signal strength, which is true up to a large extent.
But what if I tell you that you can utilize your router location to secure your overall network?
I know it sounds odd but how in the earth a cyber-criminal can attack you if he/she won’t even catch the Wi-Fi signals of your network?
If you keep your router in the middle of your house and on a higher place (like on a wall), those signals will be centered around your house, and there will a little or no chance of your signals getting too far across your house.
On top of that, it will provide equal internet signal strength to each area of your house.
5. Disable Remote Access
Although this feature is not present in most routers, some routers allow you to control your router from any location around the world, even if the device isn’t connected to the network at that time.
This feature was introduced for user’s comfort, but it also makes hackers’ job a billion times easier. That’s why it’s better to turn it off.
In order to do so, go into the web admin panel of your router, search for settings labeled as Remote Access / Remote Administration, and turn it off.
6. Keep Your Router Firmware Up to Date
A Router firmware is software which acts like the OS of that router and is responsible for all the functionality of that router.
Like any software, some bugs can be found after some time in a router’s firmware, and when manufacturers find out about that malware, they release new patch as soon as possible.
That’s why, it’s better to keep your router firmware updated.
Otherwise, there would be a major chance of a security bug in your router, which can easily exploited by any hacker.
OK, so these were some of the easiest tips you can follow to secure your Wi-Fi network. Although any one of those may not make a huge difference, implementing all of them will surely get the job done.