How To Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Network

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph July 19, 2023
Updated 2023/07/23 at 10:52 AM
How To Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Network

If you’re similar to the majority of individuals, your dependence on home Wi-Fi is significant. It plays a crucial role in various aspects of your life, such as online banking, credit card payments, hotel room reservations, socializing with friends, and streaming movies.

This extensive range of activities often involves connecting multiple devices, including laptops, phones, security systems, thermostats, and air conditioners, to your home Wi-Fi network.

Having a secure home Wi-Fi network offers advantages, but without proper protection, it can become a breeding ground for malicious individuals such as scammers, hackers, and cybercriminals.

An insignificant weakness in your home Wi-Fi network could grant criminals the ability to infiltrate nearly all connected devices.

This unauthorized access could potentially enable hackers and scammers to gain entry to your online banking accounts or credit card portals.

Additionally, they could spy on your confidential emails exchanged with your doctor and potentially infect your devices with harmful malware and spyware.

Thankfully, there are easy measures you can take to protect your home Wi-Fi network and deter cybercriminals. Below are essential suggestions to safeguard your home Wi-Fi network from unauthorized entry.

How To Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Network

Change Your House Wi-Fi’s Default Name:

To begin, modify the service set identifier (SSID), which refers to the name of your Wi-Fi network at home. Most wireless router manufacturers assign a default SSID, often using their company name. When your computer scans for available wireless networks, it displays the SSID of each network that broadcasts it publicly.

This increases the risk of unauthorized access by hackers. Therefore, it is advisable to change the SSID of your network to a name that doesn’t reveal any personal information. By doing so, you can confuse hackers and deter them from attempting to breach your network.

Create A Strong, Unique Password For Your Wireless Network:

The majority of wireless routers are initially equipped with a default password, which is susceptible to being easily guessed by hackers, especially if they are familiar with the router’s manufacturer. To ensure the security of your wireless network, it is advisable to choose a strong password comprising at least 20 characters, incorporating a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols.

By increasing the complexity of your password, you significantly enhance the level of difficulty for hackers attempting to infiltrate your network.

Make Network Encryption Active:

The majority of wireless routers are equipped with an encryption function, but it is often deactivated as the default setting. Enabling the encryption setting on your wireless router can enhance the security of your network. It is crucial to activate it promptly after your broadband provider installs the router.

Among the various encryption options, the most up-to-date and efficient one is known as “WPA2.”

Disable Broadcasting Of The Network Name:

It is strongly advised to deactivate the broadcasting of your network name when utilizing a wireless router in your residence. When individuals in the vicinity attempt to locate a Wi-Fi network, their devices will display a selection of nearby networks for them to choose from.

By disabling the broadcasting of your network name, however, your Wi-Fi connection will not be visible to others who are unaware of its existence, ensuring its invisibility.

This functionality is valuable for establishments such as businesses, libraries, hotels, and restaurants seeking to provide wireless internet connectivity to their patrons. However, it is not essential for a personal wireless network like your home Wi-Fi.

Update The Software On Your Router:

Occasionally, a router’s firmware may have imperfections similar to any other software, which could potentially create significant weaknesses unless promptly addressed through firmware updates released by the manufacturers.

It is crucial to consistently install the most recent software version for your router and promptly obtain the latest security patches. By doing so, you enhance the chances of preventing hackers from gaining unauthorized access to your Wi-Fi network.

Make Sure Your Firewall Is Effective:

A “firewall” is created to safeguard computers against malware, viruses, and other detrimental intrusions. Wireless routers usually come with built-in firewalls, although occasionally they are shipped with these firewalls deactivated. It is important to verify that your wireless router’s firewall is activated.

If your router lacks such a firewall, it is crucial to install a reliable firewall solution on your system to protect your wireless network from malicious attempts to gain unauthorized access.

Access Your Network By Using VPNs:

A virtual private network (VPN) is a collection of computers or networks that collaborate online. People can employ VPNs, such as Norton Secure VPN, to ensure the security and encryption of their communications. By connecting to a VPN, a VPN client is activated on your computer.

Upon logging in with your credentials, your computer establishes a secure connection by exchanging keys with a server. Once both computers confirm each other’s authenticity, all of your internet activity becomes encrypted and remains concealed from external surveillance.

Centralize The Placement Of Your Router:

Effective network security begins with an intelligent configuration. Ideally, position your router in the middle of your residence. Since routers emit wireless signals in multiple directions, strategically situating your router in a central spot will aid in confining your connection within the boundaries of your home. Additionally, this placement is likely to result in optimal connection quality, offering an added advantage.

For instance, in a scenario where you have an internet connection in an apartment with neighbours situated directly to your left and right, positioning your router adjacent to a shared wall might result in a powerful and alluring signal reaching their spaces.

Even if you don’t reside in an apartment, a high-quality router can transmit signals to neighbouring residences or across the street. By locating your router in a central position, you can minimize the distance over which these signals extend beyond the confines of your own home.

Establish A Guest Wifi Network:

Hosts frequently encounter the question, “May I have the Wi-Fi password?” This common inquiry prompts a suggestion: instead of granting access to your primary home network, it is advisable to establish a distinct guest network exclusively for visitors.

While it’s not insinuating that guests have malicious intentions towards your main Wi-Fi connection, it’s worth considering that their devices or any downloads made while connected to your network could unknowingly harbour malware or viruses that pose a threat to your network’s security.

A guest network is particularly well-suited for your Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including Wi-Fi cameras, thermostats, and smart speakers.

These devices may not store a significant amount of sensitive data and could potentially be more vulnerable to hacking compared to more sophisticated devices like computers or smartphones.

Turn Off Router Remote Access:

Remote router access permits individuals who are not physically connected to your Wi-Fi network to gain entry to the router’s settings. Unless there is a specific requirement to access your router while you are away from your residence, such as managing or modifying the settings of a connected device belonging to a child, it is unnecessary to keep remote access enabled.

To deactivate remote access, you can navigate to the administrative settings of your router. It is worth noting that, unlike other security measures, remote router access might not be disabled by default.

Check The Linked Devices:

Regularly examine the devices linked to your network and ensure you are familiar with each one. If you come across anything suspicious, disconnect it immediately and update your Wi-Fi password. Once the password has been changed, you will need to reconnect all the devices that were previously connected. However, unauthorized users or devices attempting to access your network will be denied entry.

Certain devices, particularly lesser-known IoT devices, might have peculiar default names consisting of random combinations of numbers and letters that are not immediately familiar to you. If you come across such a name while examining your connected devices, it is advisable to disconnect them.

Eventually, if you find yourself unable to initiate your robot vacuum cleaner through your phone, you will realize that the disconnected device was the cause of the issue.

Conclusion:

Once more, despite employing the latest and most efficient techniques to safeguard your home network, absolute certainty in security remains unattainable. As long as the internet exists, hackers and cybercriminals will persist in discovering means to manipulate it. Nevertheless, by following the aforementioned suggestions, you can enhance the protection of your network against those attempting to exploit your connection or gain access to your data.

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