Nearly everyone has a Wi-Fi router in their home to enjoy internet access 24/7. After all, uninterrupted access to the internet is one of the necessities in today’s world where the internet plays a crucial role in how we communicate and coordinate with one another. But did you know that your wireless router is also susceptible to intrusion by cybercriminals who can sneak into your computer or smartphone devices and get their hands on your data? And not just personal data, they can also retrieve your financial details and cost you all your hard-earned money, which you think is secure in your bank account.
Wireless network and internet connections don’t work like physical networks. They extend beyond the walls of your room or probably your home. Once the password gets out, it can be hard for you to control who can access your home wireless network. That is why you need to take some actions to improve your Wi-Fi network security and deter cyberattacks and intrusion by snoopers and internet carpetbaggers.
Here are a few ways you can boost your home wireless network and internet connection security:
Change the name of your default home network
Your Wi-Fi’s default name is also known as SSID, short for Service Set Identifier. Using the same name enables hackers to know your router type, which gets their job half done. That’s why it’s best to change your default network name to something that makes it harder for intruders to know what type of router you have. However, make sure not to rename the router in a way that discloses your personal information in any way. For example, you do not want to call your Wi-Fi network “David’s Wi-Fi” or “House No. 34” as it will help hackers identify your home network among other available networks. For added security, try changing the name after every three or four months.
Set a complicated router password
When you install a wireless network and internet connection, it comes with a default username and password so that you can log in and get access to the internet quickly. While you can continue to use that login credential, hackers can easily guess it, especially if they know the router type and manufacturer. So, the best course of action is to change your Wi-Fi’s default username and password immediately.
When it comes to putting a new password, choose a random sequence of letters, numbers, and special characters, which should also include a mix of uppercase and lowercase to make it harder to guess. Your visitors asking for access to the Wi-Fi may complain about the complexity of the password, but this simple step will save you from network intrusion by hackers.
Activate network encryption
If you have a Wi-Fi network at home, you may know that it comes with multiple encryption languages, such as WEP, WPA, or WPA2. WEP stands for Wired Equivalent Privacy and is considered the least secure of all encryptions and should be avoided, if possible. WPA stands for Wireless Protected Access, and WPA2 is the second version of WPA. And there is already WPA3 to replace WPA and WPA2. WPA2 is both a security protocol and the current industry standard, providing top-level security to wireless networks and internet connections. So, if you want to make your home wireless network more secure, change your network encryption to the latest WPA2 or WPA2 AES if it is compatible with it.
Turn off your Wi-Fi router when not home
When you are not at home or are not using your Wi-Fi network and internet connection for an extended period for any reason, consider turning it off. Do the same with all the devices that use Ethernet cables for internet access. By doing so, you close all the windows of opportunity that hackers might use to get access to your home wireless network when you are away. Besides enhancing your Wi-Fi security, this prevents the router from damage should there arise an electric power surge.
Centralize the router
You probably haven’t thought about this, but the placement of your Wi-Fi router has a lot to do with your internet experience and protection against cyber attacks by hackers. It’s recommended that you put it in the middle of the house for two reasons. First, it offers equal internet access to all the rooms in the house. Secondly, it prevents your Wi-Fi signals from getting too strong outside your home where it can be intercepted easily by internet carpetbaggers. Also, avoid placing the router near a window or at the entrance of your home.
Change your default IP address on the router
Another vital step to improve your wireless network and internet connection security is to change the default IP address of the router to a less common one. However, this step can be challenging, especially if you don’t have sufficient knowledge about routers and IP addresses. Your Wi-Fi network provider may be able to help you change the IP address, or you can get help from a friend who has done it before.
To change your Wi-Fi’s IP address, follow these steps:
- Log into your Wi-Fi router’s console as an admin using the default IP address of the manufacturer, usually written on the underside of the router.
- Once you are on the login page, insert the username and password.
- Then click on network> LAN, typically located on the left side.
- Change the IP address to your preference.
- Then click Save.
Once you have changed your IP address, you will need to enter the new IP address into the browser to open the Wi-Fi router account. This step will make it challenging for intruders to get access to your network and internet connection.
If you want to know more about how you can make your home wireless network more secure and stable, feel free to reach out to us and let us be of service to you. We are your #1 IT solutions providers, offering you the best solutions possible without breaking your bank.