You may have heard of the dangers of connecting to free, open-access WiFi networks. But did you know that your home network can also be hazardous to your personal data? If you have not taken the proper security precautions, your home WiFi is likely to be just as vulnerable as the open wireless network at your corner coffee shop. Without the proper defenses, your network could be accessible to anyone with even a modest set of cyber snooping skills.
With a higher number of remote workers these days, it’s more important than ever before to secure your home network. It’s also a good opportunity to remind your employees about the importance of creating a secure work environment, regardless of where that environment is. Chances are, when the COVID-19 outbreak happened, you hurried to get everyone home while avoiding work downtime, and things like home network security weren’t even a consideration. But now it’s time to look back and start to create a different kind of security culture.
Our SOC services experts have identified the three most important security safeguards for standard home WiFi networks. Take a read through the following tips and commit to taking these steps to make your network more secure.
1. Change your router’s default administrator password and disable remote administration
The “admin” password on your router is totally different from the password that you use to connect to your WiFi network. Where your WiFi password will allow you to connect to the internet using your router, your router password gives you access to the actual configuration settings of the WiFi network itself.
The problem with leaving a default password in place is that everyone from amateur teenage hackers to sophisticated cybercriminals can find that password somewhere online and use it to get into your network. At best, a bad actor could change your WiFi password, but at worst, they could access your private files, introduce malware and viruses to your network, or even conduct illegal actions using your WiFi. Changing default passwords helps to reduce these cybersecurity risks and more.
2. Update your router’s firmware
While you’re in the administration area, take the opportunity to upgrade your router’s firmware. As is the case with other electronic devices, router manufacturers often discover bugs and other issues that need to be addressed after products have already been shipped and installed.
All of your information passes through your router, so the privacy and security of your devices can be severely impacted if it’s compromised. Updating the firmware on your router is akin to updating the operating system on your smartphone or tablet, and this step can help eliminate known cybersecurity vulnerabilities and improve performance.
3. Configure your WiFi security settings
There are three key settings to check (and, if necessary, change) within your WiFi network configuration: your SSID, your encryption method, and your WiFi password.
SSID: stands for service set identifier, which is the name of your WiFi network. It is a case sensitive text that is made up of letters and numbers of your choosing.
Something to watch out for is outsiders piggybacking on your internet access—that is, using your WiFi network rather than paying for their own connectivity – especially if you live in a more populated residential area like apartment complexes and multi-tenant buildings. To keep your WiFi safe against this practice, disable SSID broadcasting.
Encryption method: a method that increases the security of a file or message by encoding its content. The file or message can only be read by the person who has the encryption key. The best current standard for encryption for WiFi networks is WPA2. You will want to make sure you are using this by logging on to your wireless router's management page and enabling it under the WiFi settings.
WiFi password: is the password used to encrypt your WiFi packet. It keeps hackers and strangers from connecting to your network, viewing your traffic and stealing your bandwidth. To create a strong WiFi password, make sure your password is at least eight characters long, includes symbols and numbers, and isn’t a solitary word.
Today’s technological world is constantly changing, so you need to be prepared for all types of cyber security threats. Follow these safeguards for your standard home WiFi networks and stay secure. Contact Involta Sales to schedule a meeting and learn how we can help you “Get There.”