Ignoring the vulnerabilities of a home WiFi network can create a very risky situation. Wrongdoers can’t wait to explore such issues, and thus, they can get info regarding your bank accounts, they can spy on what you’re doing online, and many more.
The good news is that it’s not mandatory to have deep computer knowledge to secure your WiFi router. Pretty much anybody can do it as long as he or she writes down the important data such as the password, the username, and so on. If you’re aiming for super-safety, you should consider writing that data physically, on a piece of paper, rather than on a virtual document stored on your hard drive. Optionally, you can lock that piece of paper in a safe and place it in a bunker. But let’s see how to protect the WiFi router in a more trendy way:
- Choose a strong wireless network password
It’s clearly not in your interest to add a password that is easy to guess. Don’t type ‘ilikebananas,’ especially if people know that you like bananas. The default password of the wireless routers is also easy to guess by hackers, so the first thing you should do when you buy yourself a router is to change the network password into a much stronger one. Don’t hesitate to use numbers, letters, and symbols and try to make the password as long as possible.
- Use a firewall
Firewalls are extra layers of protection in the face of cyber intruders. Most routers these days have a firewall built-in, but you should definitely check if the tool is active through your router address (The default address for Xfinity routers is 192.168.1.254 whereas NETGEAR uses MyWiFiExt as it’s default gateway). If not, there are plenty of good and affordable options to choose from.
- Disable Remote Access, WPS, and UPnP
Turn off Remote Access and UPnP if you want an extra level of comfort. As for the WiFi Protected Setup (WPS), it is a useful feature if you don’t want to deal with too much configuration effort when you need to connect new devices to the network. But by letting WPS turned on, you’re also making it a bit easier for unauthorized devices to have access to your network.
Last but not least, you should always keep the router’s software up-to-date. Vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit also occur if your router is outdated. Therefore, make sure you always install the latest version available and the latest security patches.
Juana loves to cover the tech and gaming industry, she always stays on the first row of CES conference and reports live from there.