In the home and office, wireless Internet or Wi-Fi connectivity has become a necessity, but it can also open the door for hackers and thieves.
If your Wi-Fi network is not properly secured – a public IP address, no unique Wi-Fi password – you can give anyone with a wireless-enabled device benefit access. You may not be worried about anyone using your wireless connection, but the real risk is the sensitive information you send and receive – your email, banking information and perhaps even your smart home’s daily schedule – Cyber criminals are exposed.
Basic router protection
To help keep out the bad guys, every router must have a strong password. Some new routers come with default passwords, but during setup, you can change these.
- All wireless routers have a numeric address. If you have lost instructions, you can possibly find you by searching online for the model number of your router.
In the security settings, create a name for the router and a password, and then select a type of encryption such as WAP2.
- Don’t name your router something that is easily associated with you, such as your last name.
- Make sure you choose a complex password that you can remember, but it is not easy to guess.
When asked, be sure to save the updated details. Your router is safe from cyber criminals roaming now.
Different types of encryption
- Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP):- This is the oldest form of router encryption and the most common. It is the least reliable of all protocols for encryption, though. It uses easy-to-crack radio waves.
- Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA):- The Wi-Fi Partnership came with WPA, providing an encryption protocol without the limitations of WEP. It scrambles the encryption key to alleviate the problems caused by hackers breaking radio-waves.
- Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2):- The most reliable and most recent form of encryption currently available is this type of encryption. If open, you should always select WPA2.
How to set up Wi-Fi router securely : specifics
Manufacturers understand how important it is to make their goods user-friendly. Most routers come with instructions that are easy to install and configure. Apps are replacing heavy user manuals and web interfaces that walk users through the set-up process. While using the application has made it easier for customers to install a router, the router may not be completely secure. There are a few things to consider before setting up a router.
Update your router with new firmware and keep it updated
An significant protection measure that helps protect your router from the current threats is upgrading your router’s firmware. Most modern routers allow you to trigger alerts when patches and updates are made available by the manufacturer for the firmware of the router. Some manufacturers may push updates to your hardware automatically, so you don’t have to do anything. However, there are some routers that update within the Settings option. In this case, the user must ensure that the firmware is manually updated regularly.
Change your login credentials and router password
Traditional routers come with a manufacturer-created default password. While this may sound complicated and resistant to hacking, there is a good chance that most models of the same router share the same password. These passwords are often easy to trace or search on the Internet.
Make sure you have changed your router’s password during setup. Choose a complex alphanumeric password with multiple characters. If possible, also change the username of your network. Eventually, it makes up half of the login credentials.
Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) was created with the intention of making the user experience easier and faster when connecting new devices to the network. It works on the idea that you press a button on the router and a button on the device. It connects both devices automatically.
The user has the option to configure the computer to make a connexion using a personal identification number or PIN. It utilises the WPA password of 16 characters that most routers use.
Most routers allow users to disable WPS. Even if the PIN option appears disabled, it is wise to disable WPS. In recent years, it was discovered that many routers from reputable manufacturers allowed PIN-based authentication even when disabled.
Set up a guest network for a smart home device
A guest network has its advantages. This not only provides your guests with a unique SSID and password, but it also prevents outsiders from accessing your primary network where your connected devices work.
Once you establish a guest network, you will not have to share your primary network password with your guests. They will be unable to access your Internet of Things-enabled devices or may infect your network and devices with malware or viruses that may be on their devices.
Use a virtual private network or VPN
A virtual private network ( VPN) encrypts device-to – device links, providing privacy and anonymity online. A VPN can mask your Internet Protocol (IP) address so that your online work is virtually inaccessible. VPN services establish secure and encrypted connections, providing greater privacy of data you send, even over secure Wi-Fi hotspots.
Install and use a strong antivirus and security software
It does not take a lot of time to set up security for your wireless network and it will help a lot to protect you from hackers. Cyber criminals work tirelessly to gain access to your personal and financial information. A small investment in security software can go a long way.