Securing your wifi network is vital to keep you safe from hackers – and to prevent others from freeloading on your broadband connection! Use the simple tips below to shore up your network’s security and to get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your neighbors aren’t watching funny cat videos on your bandwidth.
- 1 Change The Router Password
- 2 Add A Network Security Plan
- 3 Make Sure Encryption Is Enabled
- 4 Check The Remote Access
- 5 Set Up A Guest Network
- 6 Update Your SSID
- 7 Make Sure Your Router Is Up To Date
- 8 Disable The WPS Feature
Change The Router Password
First up, change the password on your router. Depending on your router, you may need to change both the administrator password and the wifi password. The administrator password will usually default to a super easy password like ‘admin’ – if you’re not sure, you should be able to easily find the password you need online. When selecting a new one, be sure to use a combination of upper and lower case letters, some numbers, and a couple of special characters. You may want to use a password generator tool, which will create a truly random password that will be extremely difficult to crack.
If your router is a fairly new device, then it may have come pre-configured with a random password, which you will likely find printed on the device itself. Even in this case, it’s a good idea to change this password to make sure your network is as secure as possible and can’t be accessed by any unauthorized persons.
Add A Network Security Plan
Some network providers offer add-on security packages that can add extra layers of protection for your network and the devices that link to it. Windstream is an example of a provider that has additional packages available, which feature parental control tools, antivirus and malware protection, and technical support; their premium package enables users to add identity theft protection and credit monitoring services, too. Have a look here for the cost of Windstream internet services and for more details of what this company offers, such as fast speeds, no data caps or contracts, 24/7 customer support, and a thirty-day money-back guarantee. Other providers will offer different types of packages, so take some time to research the best one for your household.
Make Sure Encryption Is Enabled
Enabling encryption is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your network secure. Choose the WPA2 protocol if WP3 isn’t available on your network currently, and switch to the latter once it’s available on all your devices. If your network gives you a choice between TKIP and AES in terms of encryption options, then select AES as it’s the strongest option for maintaining security.
Check The Remote Access
Unless you need administrator access to your router from outside of your home network, which is relatively unlikely, then it’s a good idea to switch the remote access option off to ensure that no one within the range of your router can attempt to gain access to your network.
Set Up A Guest Network
Creating a guest network for your smart devices is another easy way to boost security. Devices like baby monitors and smart speakers can connect to the internet but don’t tend to have the inherent security features that other devices have as standard, and so can leave your whole system vulnerable if they’re incorporated into the same network as all your other devices. Setting up a guest network can solve this problem by protecting your primary devices; plus, users of the guest network won’t be able to view any of the devices connected to the primary network.
Update Your SSID
The Service Set Identifier (SSID) is the designator of each wireless network. If your router is fairly old, then its SSID will likely default to a code that’s very easy to crack by hackers, so it’s sensible to change this as soon as possible. Unusually, with newer routers, the passwords can be even more vulnerable, as the manufacturer name and the serial number of the device are often included in the SSID: this means that a hacker who knows this SSID can easily find out the manufacturer of your router, and from there it’s easy to look online to find the default router password – and subsequently gain access to your network.
Make Sure Your Router Is Up To Date
It’s worth checking your router manufacturer’s website to find out whether there is new software available to download for it or whether updates are applied automatically: you will probably need to sign-up online via the manufacturer’s website in order to access automatic updates.
Disable The WPS Feature
WPS stands for Wifi Protected Setup, and it’s renowned as a feature that’s relatively easy for hackers to crack. This is because it relies on a PIN as part of its authentication processes, which cybercriminals can get around simply with tools that throw a vast amount of combinations of numbers at the WPS until it finds the correct one, therefore effectively opening the door to your network. The WPS ‘push button’ makes your router vulnerable, too, as hackers can use it to bypass other security measures to gain access to your network, which is another great reason to disable this feature.