For a long time, the average consumer was either unaware or unconcerned with the security on their home network. When the internet first started picking up steam in the 90s, there was not near the number of threats to worry about.
Network technology and network security were still in the earlier stages of evolution. In the last 20 years, it has changed drastically.
Secure Your Home WiFi Router in 3 Simple Steps
Your modem and WiFi router are the entrances to your home network. And these entry points are always under threat of attack. Cybercriminals, thieves, and even network hijackers are always looking for ways to infiltrate networks. But you can secure your home WiFi with relative ease in three straightforward steps.
1. Access the Settings Page
Every router has a settings page that the administrator can access. To access settings of most routers, you need to type in the address “192.168.1.1” in your browser. If it doesn’t work, a quick Google search should do to find the correct way to access the router. You may also want to look at the manual that came with the hardware itself.
1a. Change Default Settings
This should be the first place you go when you initially have your home network setup. There are a default username and password associated with each brand of router. It means anyone could access it. Make sure to change credentials to something unique. And keep password security at the forefront when creating it.
1b. Change Network SSID
While the name of your network is not going to change anything security-related, it is a good idea to change it. You want people to know that it is not a public network, so they don’t try to connect to it. Stray away from using any personal information, though. Name it something creative.
1d. Reduce Wireless Signal
You have a few different options to keep your signal from extending too far, thus inviting others into your network. There are various wireless channels you can try, and you can also switch wireless modes on some models. If it doesn’t work or it isn’t an option, try putting the router in an enclosed space or using aluminum foil on the receivers.
1d. Update Firmware
Updates for routers are not as frequent as for software or an operating system. Yet there may be some urgent updates available. Some routers have it built-in to the settings pages. But sometimes you will have to get updates from the manufacturer website.
2. Use Network Encryption
Every router on the market these days has WPA/WPA2 encryption available out of the box. It is mandatory to use them these days, as unencrypted networks are simple for criminals to hack. Make sure to set up WPA2 wireless encryption and choose a proper password to secure it. You may want to use a password manager to make them more random yet more comfortable to remember.
Any open network is at the mercy of anyone within reach of it. It means that you could have people tracking everything you do on your computer or device, and you would have no idea. That’s why keeping a secure network is pertinent to keep your home network safe.
3. Use a Virtual Private Network
It is becoming much more common for the average online consumer to use a VPN for one reason or another. A service like NordVPN gives customers a whole new level of security for their home network and all their devices. A VPN works by adding another level of encryption and directing all your traffic through their servers. It makes sure that the data you are sending and receiving stays confidential.
A VPN will also allow you to keep your virtual location a secret, as it will either assign your connection a random IP address or let you choose one from different areas. You will also get the added benefit of being able to unblock geo-restricted content.
Keep Your Network Secure
For a lot of things in life, security starts at home. And that is certainly true with your wireless home network. If you want to keep yourself, your family, and all your devices safe and sound, it is a must that you secure your WIFi router right away. Follow the above steps, and you will be browsing securely in no time.