9 Ways to Secure Your Home WiFi

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9 Ways to Secure Your Home WiFi

Moving at short notice from a trusted office environment to working remotely from home can create security risks. Hackers have taken advantage of COVID-19 and are on the prowl. Here are a few tips for making sure that your home WiFi is secure:

  • Keep your router up to date.

Outdated router firmware is a major vector for attackers. Check for updates regularly to keep your router up-to-date.

Below are a few ways to access your admin panel.

  • Visit the router’s IP address in a web browser and log into its admin console.
  • Locate the router admin console login information on the back of your router.
  • Search “secure my (name and model) router best practices” for specific setup advice for your router model. Make sure the advice is coming from a trusted site. Outdated router firmware is a major vector for attackers.
  • Ensure your router admin credentials are secure.

If you can still log into your router’s settings with the default credentials, we recommend changing the password. Use a complex password, 20 characters long including numbers, letters and various symbols make it difficult for a hacker to access your network.

  • Strengthen your wifi encryption.

A number of freely available hacker tools can crack weak wifi encryption, which could allow an attacker to intercept, see and modify your online activity. We recommend using Wireless Protected Access 2 (WPA2) security, which is more secure than the original WPA technology and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). When WPA2 is enabled with its strongest encryption option, cybercriminals within range of the network might be able to see the traffic, but it will be scrambled with the most up-to-date encryption standards. You can change the wifi encryption in the router’s admin console.

  • Remove unnecessary connected devices.

Allow only specific devices to access your wireless network. Every device connected to your network is assigned a Media Access Control (MAC) address that hackers may be able to mimic, exposing you to an increased threat risk.

  • Change the default name of your home WiFi.

Changing your Wi-Fi’s default name makes it harder for malicious attackers to know what type of router you have. If a cybercriminal knows the manufacturer name of your router, they will know what vulnerabilities that model has and then try to exploit them.

  • Connect to a VPN if available.

A virtual private network (VPN) adds a layer of protection to your online activities by building an encrypted tunnel between your traffic and anyone who may try to spy on you.

  • Ensure the built-in firewall is turned on.

Wireless routers usually come with a pre-installed firewall, but these are often disabled by default; make sure yours is enabled.

  • Ensure you enable guest networks if you must share your home WiFi connection with guests.

We know our guests, but we don’t know what might be attached to their devices. Have a guest network stemming from your main home network that is dedicated for guests only and does not connect to any of your devices.  This layer of isolation is crucial to protecting your own devices on the main home network. 

  • Ensure “Guest Isolation” is enabled.

Some routers have a Wireless isolation, AP Isolation, Station Isolation, or Client Isolation feature that allows you to lock down your Wi-Fi network. This feature confines and restricts clients connected to the Wi-Fi network. They can’t interact with devices connected to the more secure wired network, nor can they communicate with each other. They can only access the Internet. If your router supports this function, the option will be available in your router’s web interface.

While you and your family are safe and at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, your home WiFi network, devices and data may be at higher risk of being hacked. These nine, easy-to-follow tips will secure your home network and protect you and your family from online threats.