The COVID-19 pandemic is real. But instead of living in anxiety and feeling depressed, we need to make the most of the situation. For example, the situation has provided us with the opportunity to stay home – and focus on what’s important.
Indeed, many countries from around the world are in a near-complete shutdown at present to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. At this crossroads, in addition to finding valuable time for our family, most of us tend to spend a lot of our time on the Internet.
One of the biggest disruptions the current situation presents to us concerns our work routines. Office workers and business people the world over are forced to work from home. This presents an unprecedented problem, especially when it comes to home network security.
The thing is the office network is generally safe. But what about the security of your home wireless network?
What is a home network?
When internet service providers hooked up our homes with web access, many of us have used wireless routers. They help with home wireless networking. They enable us to connect multiple devices like our television sets, smartphones, tablets, and game consoles to the web via the home wireless network – including for work purposes.
Your Wi-Fi network – is it secure?
Once the wireless router connects to the main internet line given by our ISP, we start accessing the web through our devices. What most of us do is that we forget the presence of a Wi-Fi router in our homes. But, the thing we will have to remember here is that it is the gateway to our web access. Also, it is prone to exploits by cybercriminals. They can sneak into our devices through the router. Also, they can access the secure data that we have stored in them.
We should not forget that we live in the age of cyberattacks – ransomware attacks, data breaches, and many other online threats. So, we should have some concerns about the security of our home network. We should take some protective measures to enhance Wi-Fi security.
How to secure your home network
“How can I secure my home network?” you might ask yourself. Well, you’re in luck, because we have a few practical tips to help you in doing just that:
1. Do not forget to change the default name
Take the first step towards enhancing Wi-Fi security by changing the SSID. It is the Service Set Identifier or the name of the network. The reason is that most manufacturers give a default SSID for all their routers. In most instances, it will be the name of their company.
When a computer or a smartphone searches for the nearby wireless connections, it will display each network. The display will encompass networks that publicly broadcast its SSID. In turn, the hacker can get a better chance of breaking into your network. So the best thing you can do is to change the SSID to something that is not personally identifiable.
2. Make a complicated router password
Sometimes friends or family may visit your home and you may give your Wi-Fi password to them. They will gain web access indefinitely using the given password. In the same way, your kid’s friends might also gain access to the internet with this password. Later on, they can share the same password with their family members as well.
Indeed, you cannot resist if someone visits your home and asks for your Wi-Fi password. However, you could make it difficult for them to share the password with others. It is better to use special characters, numbers and letters in your password, with uppercase and lowercase characters mixed in. This type of password is hard to remember. In general, the password can have 20 characters. But if you cannot remember such a long password, consider making it with only 12 characters.
3. Use the best smart home cybersecurity tools
In order to secure your home network, you need tools like Bitdefender BOX. It’s essentially a device that enables you to secure your home network. It will provide an easy-to-use and lightning-fast protection to all devices that are connected to your home network. With the feature called Double-Clad Home Network Security, this tool will help with blocking any malware. Furthermore, it will prevent your passwords from being stolen.
You can also identify hacker attacks and theft attempts for all the devices that are connected to your home Wi-Fi with this feature. If you’re running a business, an integrated IoT security platform will provide complete protection to your Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows devices at home or at the office, and even on the go. With VPN included, it will take your networking to a new level of safety.
These tools follow award-winning technology, as Bitdefender is a world leader in the computer and internet security domain. The network security features encompass anomaly detection, brute force protection; exploit prevention, and vulnerability assessment. They even offer data protection, privacy, and complete control of your home network.
4. Keep your router up-to-date
Most modern-day routers offer updates through their web-based panel. When the firmware of your router is outdated, it can fall prey to attackers easily. This will happen particularly when you use the router with an insecure web-connected appliance. Examples include Wi-Fi enabled dryers, web-connected Roombas, ring cameras, etc.
You can easily update any router by finding the IP address of the router in a web browser. Once you get to the page, you will have to log in to the admin console. You will almost certainly find the default credentials and the IP address at the bottom of the router, specified on the label.
It’s possible to find this information by doing a quick search online. You can also just reset the router to get to the default credentials. You can do this if you have forgotten the username or password of your router. Once you log in, you will have to find the settings menu of the router, and there you’ll find the update option.
5. Activate network encryption
In general, routers come with many encryption languages like WPA2, WPA, and WEP. However, since 2006, all Wi-Fi certified products come with WPA2 security only. In this situation, WPA2 AES is yet another security system. So all routers should be compatible with it.
So, there you go – five tips for securing your home network. While those tips won’t make your network bulletproof, those certainly help in preventing potential disruptions on your home network – and your work.
Remember, when your router is secured, all your devices can also stay secured.
As always, there are more ways to improve your network security. For instance, you can safeguard your Home Network by turning off the router when you are away. Also, you may want to consider the fact that it’s better to get the router installed in the middle of your house. Further, disabling remote access will also help.
Now over to you – do you have more practical tips from your own experience? If so, please share your tips with us!