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3 Advanced Security Tips for Your Home Wireless Network 

Published: July 29, 2020 | Updated: July 30, 2020
 

If someone hacks your home wireless network, they can steal your internet and can gain access to private information and data from your devices. They can eavesdrop on your communications, take control of your router, and even commit crimes that would be traced back to your account. And they don’t need to be in your house to get into your network—just in your apartment building or neighborhood. With so many people working from home these days, it’s more critical than ever that you protect your network from these attacks.

Here are three security keeps to keep your home wireless network safe and secure.

1. Encrypt Your Wireless Information

The most effective action you can take to protect your network from hackers is to use encryption on your wireless network. This scrambles the information you send between your router and other devices so hackers can’t read it.

The two main types of encryption are Wi-Fi Protected Access, Version 2 (WPA2) and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). WPA2 is the more effective. WEP is what you’ll find on older routers but it may not protect you against some of the most common hacking programs. For the best protection, upgrade your router to one that has the WPA2 capability. Make sure all of your devices and router use the same encryption.

Routers typically come with the encryption feature turned off. Check the directions that come with yours for how to turn it on or visit the company’s website for the information.

2. Change Your Router’s Default Name and Password

Manufacturers use default names, or SSIDs, and passwords for routers. Change yours from the default to something that is uniquely yours. It’s simple to find the default information online—and hackers know it—so it can be easy for them to access networks that use SSIDs and passwords from the factory.

The SSID is the name you call your network. Change it to something that only your household members will know. Avoid names that identify you to others or share personal information like your last name or address. It’s important to change the name from the default because hackers can easily use that name to look up the pre-set password associated with it and access your network if you haven’t changed the password.

Your password should be long and complex—something a hacker wouldn’t guess. A good rule of thumb is to use 12 characters or more with a combination of numbers, letters in both upper and lowercase, and symbols. The router’s booklet or manufacturer’s website can tell you how to change the information.

3. Personalize Your Wireless Network’s Admin Credentials

The admin username and password that come with your router are also factory defaults. You should change both for another layer of security. If someone can access your router, they can do a lot of damage to your network’s configuration and even the devices that connect to it.

Visit the router manufacturer’s website for details on how to change your admin login information. Do this as soon as possible. Right after you set up the router for the first time is the best time to make the change.

 

Do you want to learn more about how to protect networks from attacks and solve other network issues? Consider a career in information technology! Check out the Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems program at Charter College to learn how to get started.