Since the pandemic began, cyberattacks have increased by 400%. Criminals are using their extra free time to try to hack into WiFi networks and get rich off of stolen data. If you don’t want to become the next target, you should beef up your network security so hackers can’t easily gain access. Whether your internet provider is Verizon, GotW3 4G internet, AT&T, or EarthLink home internet, here are five ways you can secure your WiFi network and protect your important personal data.
Change the name and password of your network
Routers come with generic passwords that are easy for hackers to crack, which can leave your home network vulnerable to brute force attacks. To secure your WiFi, choose a strong password that’s at least 12 characters long and has a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters.
While you’re at it, you should also change the name of your network, which is called a service set identifier or SSID. Router manufacturers often use their company’s name as the default SSID, which makes it easy for hackers to figure out what type of router you have. Then they can compromise your network by exploiting your router’s known vulnerabilities.
When renaming your WiFi, make sure you don’t include any personal information like your first or last name that could help hackers identify which network is yours.
Update your router’s software
If you don’t update your router’s firmware on a regular basis, your network could have vulnerabilities that make it easier for hackers to gain access and steal your data. Make sure you install all the patches your router’s manufacturer releases so your security is always up-to-date.
Activate important security features
Most routers come with built-in security features like firewalls and encryption, but they aren’t enabled straight out of the box. To add an extra layer of protection to your network, make sure you turn them on.
Activating the firewall will help keep intruders out of your network. And if they do manage to breach your network and steal your data, they won’t be able to understand it thanks to your router’s encryption feature.
Disable remote access and name broadcasting
Some of your router’s other features like remote access and name broadcasting can actually make your network less secure, so you should consider disabling them. Many routers allow you to access their interface and change their privacy settings from remote devices that aren’t connected to your WiFi. This can make it easier for hackers to gain unauthorized access to your network, so you may want to turn it off.
Name broadcasting is another feature you don’t really need, and leaving it enabled can do more harm than good. It makes your network’s name visible to others so they can join it. While this is useful for businesses that offer public WiFi, it’s not necessary for your home network and can make it easier to hack into.
Choose the right place for your router
Believe it or not, where you choose to put your router can have an impact on your network’s security. If you place it near an exterior wall or window, your network’s signal will be broadcast outside your home, which may make it easier for hackers to intercept it. To keep your WiFi out of range of hackers, put it in the middle of your house. As a bonus, you’ll get better reception from all the rooms in your house if your router is centrally located.
Cyberattacks are on the rise due to the pandemic. But if you take steps to secure your WiFi network, you may be able to avoid a data breach.