You may know that an open WiFi network can allow others to use your Internet connection without permission, but it also leaves all your devices open to attack. Leaving your home’s wireless network unsecured is like leaving your front door unlocked. This is why wireless security is an important part of online safety.
Almost all routers now have some security enabled right out of the box, as opposed to a few years ago, when most were completely open. But these settings are chosen with quick start up in mind, so they’re usually broadly compatible and not as secure as they could be. To keep your network safe, you need to to make a few changes.
The first thing to change is the SSID, or network name. Many default settings include the name of the router manufacturer, which can give a clue to anyone looking to attack your network. You’ll want to change the SSID to something unique that you will recognize as your network.
Next you must set the WiFi password. It’s tempting to use an easy-to-remember word, but that’s not the best idea. Almost all devices will connect automatically or remember your password, so you won’t be typing it in every time. Choose a solid, secure password, instead.
What makes a solid password? The longer and more complex, the better. You can use a random password generator or think of a phrase on your own. You’ll want at least 8 to 12 characters, including at least one of each of the following:
- Capital letters
- Lower case letters
- Special characters (!, @, #, $, *, etc.)
This doesn’t have to be difficult. You can start with a phrase and then substitute other characters, like this:
You’ll also need to change the password for the router itself. Each manufacturer has its own default password, and lists of those are widely available online, making them vulnerable. The same rules apply as for the Wifi password: long, complex, mixing letters with numbers and other characters. But don’t use the same password for both!
You do a lot through your network – pay bills, shop, handle your taxes and banking – that needs to be protected. These simple steps will keep your network and router secure.
For excellent Internet service in your area, contact High Speed Link today!