The modern world is increasingly mobile. Mobile devices have entrenched our lives so firmly that they have become an integral part…something we cannot imagine our life without. According to Statista, the number of smartphone users worldwide has increased considerably in 2021 and is projected to grow further by several hundred million in the years to come. Adding to the trend is a fast-paced proliferation of the Internet that enables users to access and share information, and stay connected on the go.Today, there are approximately 4.66 billion Internet users across the world, with around 91% of this population using mobile devices to go online. Modern homes are increasingly connected; thanks to the Internet of Things that digitally connects smartphones, smart TVs, laptops, smart ACs, alarm systems, and more. As the Internet becomes an irreplaceable part of our lives, most homes today have a Wi-Fi and router network that provides 24/7 connectivity to all members of the family.
While a Wi-Fi network and router have become commonplace in every household, they are increasingly prone to cyberthreats today. Every 39 seconds, there is a hacker attack as wireless signals can be easily picked up and manipulated by anyone and anywhere. The primary reason is the lack of adequate security measures to keep the Wi-Fi and router network protected from cybercrimes.Even the smallest vulnerability in the Wi-Fi network can give hackers access to most devices using it. This could threaten the security of your credit card details, bank accounts, personal information, and a lot of other issues.
Discussed here are 5 essential tips that can help safeguard your Wi-Fi network from criminal intrusions.
1Activate Network Encryption for Improved Security
When you connect your smart devices to the Internet directly, it could expose your confidential data and other information to unauthorized access. This is because approximately 24.7% of Wi-Fi networks globally do not use any form of encryption. The below chart depicts an encryption type used in public Wi-Fi networks across the world:
As a result, hackers could install harmful viruses or malware onto your systems that are connected to the router. They can further steal your passwords and personal data or block network traffic, posing a serious threat to your overall security.One of the most effective ways to prevent this is by installing a VPN router that encrypts all traffic between your computer and secure VPN servers. This ensures your IP address or your network traffic cannot be read by third parties, such as your local Wi-Fi operator or Internet service provider.
2Change the Default Home Network’s SSID
Your Wireless Network Name (or SSID) is typically set as “default” or as the brand name or type of your router. Most of the time, we do not change the SSID. This makes it easier for potential attackers to get more information about the network they are trying to break into. It becomes simpler for them to crack default passwords or identify attacks that will specifically jailbreak the router.When you change your Wi-Fi network’s default name, you can potentially hide it from discovery as well. Malicious attackers will find it hard to know what kind of Wi-Fi router you use and this will deter them from identifying its vulnerabilities. Ensure not to disclose your personal information on SSID as this may cause identity theft or make your network easily discoverable.
3Increase Wi-Fi Security with a Network Administrator Password
Many Wi-Fi networks come with default “username” and “password”, which exposes your personal data and other confidential information to uninhibited access. The default credentials can be easily hacked by malicious attackers who will then steal your information like bank account details, credit card numbers, or other data.To deter cybercrime on your home Wi-Fi network, change your pre-set router password to one that is strong and unique. A combination of letters, numbers, and special characters will make it hard for attackers to break in and access the network.
4Ensure the Router’s Firmware is Up-to-date
Your router’s firmware plays an integral role in ensuring improved protection of the Wi-Fi network. However, like any software, it also has certain bottlenecks that may result in major security vulnerabilities. An outdated or compromised version of firmware is more exposed to cyber threats, paving way for security breaches.To eliminate security loopholes, make sure you install the latest software versions and patches as released by the manufacturer from time to time. This will help keep your Wi-Fi network protected from unsolicited access and hacking.
5Use a Powerful Firewall
Most modern wireless routers typically come with pre-set firewalls to safeguard your devices from malicious intrusions. However, the firewall is often turned off by default or isn’t powerful enough to prevent cyberattacks. As such, your home Wi-Fi network will be exposed to cyber threats, compromising the safety of every device connected to the router.Always check that the router’s firewall is turned on. If it does not come with such a setting, install a powerful firewall on your system that can help deter unauthorized access, and prevent hacking on your wireless network.
Hopefully, the above tips will help secure your home Wi-Fi network and ensure your private & confidential is well-protected. There is no better alternative than to maintain effective security measures like having a strong network password, enabling VPN encryption, or installing a good firewall to safeguard your wireless network.