The wireless network at your home is a lot more vulnerable to attacks than you think. Think about all the wireless gadgets you use at home connected to a router. There will be multiple computers, smartphones, and even more smart gadgets like smart TVs, Bluetooth speakers, and so on. While this “internet of things” bring us great convenience, it comes at a price.
Any gadget that uses a wireless connection is much more vulnerable to hacking than a wired device. Hackers can exploit the internet connection between the device and a router or a computer to steal your personal data or to even spy on you. Countless security experts emphasize the importance of securing your home network without delay. Here are several simple ways you can do that:
1. Change the Default Passwords
Still using the factory password on your Wi-Fi router or smart gadget? Then you are essentially asking cyber criminals to attack your home network. Hackers can easily get access to the default password saved on devices. Therefore, you should change all the factory passwords and use a unique, hard to guess code for each device. If you are forgetful, keep the passwords written down and secured in a locked drawer.
2. Enable Encryption Protocols
Encryption secures data sent over a network, so even if the data is stolen, it’s unreadable. All wireless routers are available these days with various encryption protocols. However, some routers may offer additional security features that you can turn on and off. Some consumers prefer using a VPN to secure wireless traffic. VPNs use various encryption protocols in addition to firewalls to secure data. If the router comes with its own VPN setup system, then all the better.
3. Turn on the Router Firewall
Your router may have a firewall but is it turned on? Make sure the firewall and similar security features on your devices are turned on. It’s recommended to ideally do this on a monthly basis. You should go to user settings and enable particular security features that protect privacy and disable the ones that may give off your information. Don’t rely on the default settings.
4. Update Software
Keep all software drivers on devices up to date. Driver updates include essential security patches that the devices cannot do without. Therefore, make sure essential updates are turned on for automatic downloading. The default settings might have this feature turned off.
5. Physically Secure Devices
Did you know that your wireless router has a reset button in the back that can restore all settings to factory defaults, including the passwords? Fortunately, hackers can’t turn on this reset because it has to be manually pushed. However, a thief or someone who physically breaks into your home can reset the router. This is an unlikely scenario for most households, but don’t rule out the possibility. You should make sure your wireless router is in a physically secure location where guests or anyone else don’t have access to. It’s recommended to keep the router in locked room like a study.
Cyber threats are rising as more and more people start using wireless devices. As such, pay attention to the above tips to secure your home network and protect your sensitive information.