You’re probably well aware that hackers are bad news and you need to protect your information that is stored online and on your computer. But, it can be tempting to choose the most convenient route when it comes to your wifi because we use it every day! However, wifi security shouldn’t take a back seat when it comes to mitigating the risk of getting hacked. While it’s difficult to imagine someone driving by and hacking into wifi, it absolutely happens. Take a few minutes and go over these 8 steps to give your wifi some extra (needed) protection.
Start with a good admin username and password
You may be tempted to leave the router’s generic username and password out of convenience, but you definitely shouldn’t! Leaving the username they provided makes it easy for hackers to guess it and gain physical access to your router.
Get creative with the name!
Personally, we love coming up with network names! Not only is it an opportunity to have fun, keeping the name it comes with (ie Linksys, Netgear, etc.) makes it easier to ID your router type. Ideally, you should come up with a random and long name and pair it with a strong password. But, we get the urge to use “FBI Surveillance Van”.
Here’s a list of some of the funniest network names people have come up with. Just be wary — really common names can help hackers out since they are capable of using pre-built rainbow tables associated with common network names.
Set up an encryption key
An encrypted password is called a WEP or WPA key and usually, the router generates a really, really long string of letters and numbers. While you can change it to something you will easily remember, we don’t recommend it, the more complicated the password the more security you get. And that chain of letters and number is pretty complicated!
Enable the wifi network encryption
The wifi encryption option was designed to help secure your network. To do this, just log on to the router or network, go to security settings and select one of the encryption methods (choose either WPA or WPA2), then enter a strong password. Not sure the difference between WPA and WPA2? Read more here.
Turn on your wireless router’s firewall
You might have already done this, but it’s a good idea to double-check! Enabling your wireless router’s built-in firewall can make your network harder to find for hackers when they’re looking for targets. Your firewall may even come with a ‘stealth mode; that really helps in reducing network visibility.
Not quite sure to turn it on? Check out this video:
Take it a step further
You may have never noticed it, but there’s an “admin via wireless” setting, and when you disable it changes it so that only the person who is physically connected to the router via an ethernet cable can access admin features. Doing this will add extra security and prevent people from driving by and hacking into your router’s admin functions after they’ve compromised the Wifi encryption.
Minimize the threat with a personal VPN service.
If hacking is a major concern for you, you can purchase VPN service for a reasonable monthly service fee. Why is it good? It creates a huge obstacle for potential hackers because it lets you anonymize your location with a proxied IP address in addition to putting up a strong encryption wall that protects your network traffic.
Using free public wifi can make it easier for hackers to get access to your computer. If you have to use it, limit what you do and always remember to clear your cache and cookies after you’re finished.
While nothing can be 100% foolproof, taking extra precautions can discourage hackers from trying to hack into your network and leave them seeking an easier target. When it comes to protecting your private information, you can never be too careful!
Wondering if you safeguarded your computer? Give us a call and we can help you!