The internet is an ingrained part of everyday life — from good old Google on your phone to the smart home set-up that greets you warmly upon your return home, where would we be without it? Yet, despite it being such a critical aspect of so many areas of our lives, we spend little time making sure it is secure and safe from hackers. Even the smallest vulnerability in your wifi network can leave it wide open to malicious hackers, with your passwords, bank and card details and personal data at risk. Read on to find out what you can do to make your wifi network less vulnerable.
It should go without saying that you have set a unique, strong and tricky-to-guess password, yes? If not, go and change it immediately! There are password generators readily available on the internet to help if you are struggling.
Your internet will have a name given to it by your ISP — this is called its SSID (service set identifier) and will identify your service provider to any would-be hackers, making it easier for them to access your network. Changing the SSID, which is displayed when someone searches for local connections, to something that doesn’t identify your network provider nor give away any other useful information makes it more tricky for hackers.
Keeping your router software up-to-date will give you the best security your provider has to offer — security patches are released when vulnerabilities are identified and by keeping your software current, you can protect your devices against any known issues.
By default, network encryption is usually disabled. Turning it on will increase the security of your network. Look for the WPA2 setting, which is the most effective.
Walls of fire
As with network encryption, often you’ll find the router firewall turned off by default. If your router doesn’t come equipped with a firewall, make sure your devices have adequate security installed, such as firewalls and malware protection.