How to secure your wireless home network

Share this page

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linked-In
  • How Does My Home Wi-Fi Network Work?
  • How Can I Secure My Home Wi-Fi Network?

How Does My Home Wi-Fi Network Work?

Your Wi-Fi network is your home’s wireless internet connection. It usually involves a wireless router that sends a signal through the air. You can use that signal to connect to the internet. But unless your network is password protected, any device within range can pull the signal from the air and use your internet connection.

The upside of Wi-Fi? You can connect to the internet wirelessly. The downside? Others nearby who connect to your unprotected network might be able to see what you do online, including your personal information. And if anyone uses your network to commit a crime or send illegal spam, the activity could be traced back to you.

How Can I Secure My Home Wi-Fi Network?

Encrypt your network. Encrypting scrambles the information sent through your network. That makes it harder for other people to see what you’re doing or get your personal information. You encrypt your network by simply updating your router settings to either WPA3 Personal or WPA2 Personal. WPA3 is the newer — and best — encryption available, but both will work to scramble your information.

Older Router? No WPA3 or WPA2 options on your router? Older routers have WPA and WEP, which are outdated and not secure. If those are the only options listed, try updating your router software. Then check again to see if WPA2 or WPA3 are available. If they’re not, consider getting a new router to keep your information secure.

Change your router’s preset passwords. Some routers come with preset passwords out of the box. But hackers can easily find these passwords, so it’s important to change them to something more complex. There are two passwords on your router that you’ll need to reset.

1. The Wi-Fi network password: this is the one you use to connect your devices to the network. A unique and secure Wi-Fi network password prevents strangers from getting onto your network.

2. The router admin password: this is the one that lets you into the administrative side of the device. There, you can do things like change settings (including the Wi-Fi network password). If a hacker managed to log into the admin side of your router, the hacker could change the settings (including your Wi-Fi password). That would undo any other security steps you may be taking.

To find instructions for changing your router’s admin and network passwords, first, find the name of your router’s manufacturer. Then go online and search for “how to change [your router manufacturer] admin password” and “how to change [your router manufacturer] Wi-Fi network password.” Still having trouble? Contact the manufacturer directly.

Keep your router up to date. Before you set up a new router or make updates to your existing one, visit the manufacturer’s website to see if there’s a newer version of the software available for download. To make sure you hear about the latest version, register your router with the manufacturer, and sign up to get updates. If you got your router from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), like Verizon or Comcast, check with your ISP to see whether it sends out automatic updates.

Turn off “remote management,” WPS, and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) features. Some routers have features that can be convenient but weaken your network security. For example, remote access to your router’s controls allows you to change settings over the web. WPS lets you push a button on the router to connect a device to the internet instead of entering the network password. Lastly, UPnP lets your devices find each other on the network. These features may make it easier to, say, add devices to your network or let guests use your Wi-Fi — but they can make your network less secure.

Set up a guest network. Many routers let you set up a guest network with a different name and password. It’s a good security move for two reasons:

  1. Having a separate login means fewer people have your primary Wi-Fi network password, and
  2. In case a guest (unknowingly) has malware on their phone or tablet, it won’t get onto your primary network and your devices.

Log out as administrator. Once you’ve set up your router or are done changing settings, don’t forget to log out as administrator. When you’re logged in as administrator, you can change passwords and otherwise manage settings that control the security of your network. If a hacker got into your administrator account, they could easily get into your network and devices.

Protect your devices. Just as hackers can get to your data through unsecured networks, they can also get to your network through unsecured devices. To find tips on locking down your devices, read about keeping your devices secure.

A router is the gateway to your Internet access which can be prone to exploits by cybercriminals who can hack into your devices and get access to all your personal information. We live in a time where data breaches, ransomware attacks, and many other online threats are far more common than you think.

It is important that you take all the necessary security measures to protect your network against cyber attacks. Setting a simple WiFi password is not enough as a n online criminal might exploit your poor WiFi security measures and “listen” to your traffic in order to retrieve sensitive information or take advantage of your network to launch malicious attacks such as Man-in-the-Middle attacks, network sniffing or data theft.

Require assistance? Speak to an Expert

Step 1. Change Your SSID

If you want to better secure your home network, the first thing you should do is to change the name of your Wi-Fi network, also known as the SSID.

Changing your Wi-Fi’s default name makes it harder for malicious attackers to know what type of router you have. If a cybercriminal knows the manufacturer name of your router, they will know what vulnerabilities that model has and then try to exploit them.

We strongly advise not to call your home network something like “John’s Wi-Fi”. You don’t want them to know at first glance which wireless network is yours when there are probably three or four other neighbour Wi-Fi signals. Also, remember that disclosing too much personal information on a wireless network name may expose you to an identity theft operation.

Step 2. Set A Strong WiFi Password

You probably know that every wireless router comes pre-set with a default username and password, which is needed in the first place to install and connect your router. The worst part: it’s easy for hackers to guess it, especially if they know the manufacturer.

So, make sure you change them both immediately.

A good wireless password should be at least 20 characters long and include numbers, letters, and various symbols.

Step 3. Apply Wireless Network Encryption

Wireless networks come with multiple encryption languages, such as WEP, WPA or WPA2.

To better understand this terminology, WPA2 stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 and is both a security protocol and a current standard in the industry (WPA2 networks are almost everywhere) and encrypts traffic on Wi-Fi networks. It also replaces the older and less secure WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and is an upgrade of the original WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) technology. Since 2006, all Wi-Fi certified products should use WPA2 security. WPA2 AES is also a standard security system now, so all wireless networks are compatible with it.

The good news is that the WPA3 is already here and will replace WPA2. The Wi-Fi Alliance recently announced its next-generation wireless network security standard which aims to solve a common security issue: open Wi-Fi networks. More than that, it comes with security enhancements and includes a suite of features to simplify Wi-fi security configuration for users and service providers.

Step 4. Disable WiFi When Not In Use

In order to secure your network, we strongly recommend you to disable the wireless home network, in case of extended periods of non-use. You should do the same thing with all your devices that are using Ethernet cables or when you won’t be at home.

By doing this, you are closing any windows of opportunity malicious hackers might attempt to get access to it while you are away.

Here are a few advantages of disabling your wireless network:

  • Security reasons – Turning off your network devices, it minimises the chances of becoming a target for hackers.
  • Surge protection – When you power off your network device, you also lower the possibility of being damaged by electric power surges;
  • Noise reduction – Although the modern home networks are much quieter these days, disabling your wireless home network can add calmness to your home.

Step 5. Use A Strong Network Admin Password

To set up your wireless router, you usually need to access an online platform or site, where you can make several changes to your network settings.

Most Wi-fi routers come with default credentials such as “admin” and “password” which are such an easy for malicious hackers to break into.

Step 6. Change Your Default Router IP Address

Changing the default IP address to a less common one is another thing you should consider doing to better secure your home network and make it more difficult for hackers to track it.

Step 7. Disable DHCP

To enhance the wireless network security, you should turn off the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server in your router which is what IP addresses are assigned to each device on a network. Instead, you should make use of a static address and enter your network settings.

Step 8. Disable Remote Access

Most routers allow you to access their interface only from a connected device. However, some of them allow access even from remote systems.

Once you turned off the remote access, malicious actors won’t be able to access your router’s privacy settings from a device not connected to your wireless network.

Step 9. Firmware Updates

The software is an essential part of your wireless network security. The wireless router’s firmware, like any other software, contains flaws which can become major vulnerabilities and be ruthlessly exploited by hackers.

Unfortunately, many wireless routers don’t come with the option to auto-update their software, so you have to go through the hassle of doing this manually.

And even for those Wi-Fi networks that can auto-update, it still requires you to switch on this setting. But, we remind you about the importance of software patching and how neglecting to do this can leave open doors for cybercriminals to exploit various vulnerabilities.

Step 10. Firewall

Most of the best wireless routers have a built-in firewall that should protect your network from potential cyber attacks. We strongly suggest to turn it on if it’s not by default as an extra layer of protection.

If your router doesn’t have one, you can install a good firewall device to your router in order to protect your system from malicious hacking attempts against your home network.

Find a Provider
Main Guides
  • Download Speed vs. Upload Speed: What’s the Difference?
  • Internet Speed Test: 3G, 4G, LTE, and Wifi — Who Wins?
  • Does Your WiFi Router Affect Internet Speed?
  • How to Test Internet Latency on Your Computer
Related Guides
  • Best Sites to Find Word Templates
  • Changing Wireless Bands: Broad-Spectrum Issues?
  • Home Office Internet – Working from Home
  • Have You Tried a Google Hangout?
By Category
  • Internet Guides
  • Tech Guides
  • Broadband News
  • Internet Speed Guides
Paul Williams

If you have a home wireless network, it’s worth determining your WiFi security levels, as well as what exactly they mean for your connection. With just a few simple steps, you can make sure any WiFi network is operating with maximum protection.

Security Simplified

There are three “types” of WiFi security: wired equivalent privacy (WEP), WiFi protected access (WPA), and WiFi protected access version 2 (WPA2). According to a white paper from the IT security magazine hackin9.org, WEP came first, debuting in 1999 as part of the IEEE 802.11 wireless standard. The goal was to provide a level of protection equal to a wired connection, but since it wasn’t the brainchild of security or cryptography experts, WEP was quickly hacked. WPA developed as an interim solution while a new standard — IEEE 802.11i — was being finalized. In 2004, IEEE 802.11i went public along with WPA2, which featured several security enhancements. The most important was the advanced encryption standard (AES), approved by the US government for encrypting top-secret information.

Worth Checking

Current-generation wireless modems and routers usually support multiple security levels but may not always default to WPA2. To find out how your network is protected, point a web browser to your router’s home IP address and access the control panel. Not sure what IP address it uses? You can either look up a list of common IP addresses for router brands online or find your Command Prompt in Windows. Then enter “ipconfig”. This will return an IP address called “default gateway,” which is the address of your router. Putting this address into a browser brings up the router’s control panel, where you’ll be required to enter a login name and password. Refer to your router’s manual for this information.

Once you’ve accessed the control panel, find the tab or drop-down menu labeled “security.” There, you’ll be able to see what kind of protection is in place and adjust any settings necessary. If supported, you can increase the security level from WEP or WPA to WPA2, along with creating a unique passphrase users must enter before they’re granted access. In addition, you can directly control which other devices are connected to your network, ban certain devices based on their IP, or even make your network invisible to other computers in the area. When selecting a WPA2 passphrase, make sure to use something you’ll remember but hackers won’t guess — so avoid things like street addresses or repeating number patterns.

The best security level for your WiFi network is WPA2. If you’re not sure how a network is protected, check the router’s control panel and increase WiFi security levels as necessary. Insecure networks are tempting targets: make sure you’re in control of who gets access, and when.

Paul Williams

Paul Williams brings a wide range of experiences to his writing. He worked extensively in technology, as a software engineer, technical writer, and now a technology writer. Known as the leader of one of the top American Spacerock bands, his forward-looking music continues to be heard all over the world.

Many people buy a wireless router, bring it home, plug it in, connect it — and then forget about their Wi-Fi network.

When you fail to secure your wireless network, not only can someone use your network for illegal or malicious activities, they can also steal user names, passwords, bank account information, social security numbers and other personal information you have stored on your computers and devices.

How To Secure Your Home Wireless Network

Take a few minutes to secure your wireless network to ensure your safety.

1. Change Your Router Password

Each router comes with a default password that allows you to log into the router. Change the password when you install the router and then change it again every few months.

Choose a strong password that is at least 8 characters long — the longer the better. Use a combination of numbers, upper and lower case letters and symbols.

2. Disable Remote Administration

Remote administration allows you to log in to the router remotely via the internet and make setting changes to the router. Most users never use this feature and unless you do use it, remote administration should be disabled.

3. Change Your SSID

The SSID, short for Service Set Identifier, is the name of the wireless network. All routers have a default SSID. You must know the SSID to connect to a wireless network.

If there are several wireless networks in range and they have the same SSID, it can be difficult to figure out which network is yours. Changing the SSID also adds a bit of security. If a hacker knows the brand of router you have based on the default SSID name, it’s easier to determine what vulnerabilities that particular brand of router has.

A hacker may be able to use that information to break into your network. When you change the default SSID, choose an SSID that is random. Do not use your name, address or any other personal information when creating the SSID.

Consider changing the SSID a few times a year.

4. Disable SSID Broadcast

The SSID of the router is broadcast to anyone within range of your wireless network. That means your neighbors and anyone close to the router can see your wireless network.

You want to disable SSID broadcast after you have set up and configured your router and successfully connected your computers and other devices to the router for the first time. After you disable the SSID broadcast, people looking at their list of available wireless networks will no longer see your network listed.

Disabling the SSID is not a strong security measure in itself, but combined with other security actions, it adds an additional layer of security.

5. Use MAC Filtering

MAC filtering allows you to specify which devices are allowed and not allowed to connect to your network. Each network card has a specific media access control address (MAC address) and no two hardware devices use the same MAC address.

A MAC address consists of six pairs of numbers separated by a colon. Wireless routers have a setting called MAC filtering. Using MAC filtering you can log in to your router and enter the MAC addresses of the devices you would like to allow to connect to your wireless network. All other devices will be locked out.

You can also block specific MAC addresses from connecting to your router. Some hackers have mimicked MAC addresses, so don’t rely on this alone.

6. Use Encryption

Encryption encodes the data transmitted between your computer and other devices and your wireless router. Use the strongest type of encryption your router supports. Choose a strong, unique preshared key/passphrase. This key will be used by anyone who is connecting to your wireless network. As with any other key or password, choose one that is at least eight characters long and has a combination of numbers, upper and lower case letters and symbols. Change the key a few times a year.

7. Disable Wireless Protected Setup

If your router offers Wireless Protect Setup (WPS) it is best to disable that feature. Hackers have found a way to exploit the PIN feature to get your password.

Wi-Fi protected setup allows you to connect devices to the router using a PIN or Push Button Connect. Using the PIN option, you enter the PIN number on your device to connect. Push Button Connect lets you push a button on the router or click a button while logged into the router, and for a limited amount of time, a device within range can connect. This allows devices to connect without someone knowing the passphrase.

8. Pay Attention to Device Lists

Most routers have a device list feature. You can view the list to see what devices are currently connected to your router. You should occasionally review the list and make sure only devices you use are connecting.

9. Be Careful With Guest Access

Most routers have a guest access option. This feature allows guests to connect to your router. If you do not use guest access, turn it off.

If you do have guests that need wireless access, use this feature. This gives them access to Wi-Fi without allowing them access to your network: things like shared files and folders, shared printers and other sensitive network information.

Some routers also allow you to restrict how much bandwidth a guest is permitted to use. Choose a secure preshared key/passphrase for guest access and change it often.

10. Consider Unplugging Your Router at Night or When You Are Away

A router cannot be compromised if it is disconnected. Consider unplugging your router when you leave the house for the day, leave for vacation or when you are done using it for the day. This will prevent any malicious activity. It could also prevent a power surge and save money on your electric bill.

11. Keep Your Router Software Updated

The software that is installed on your router is called firmware. Manufacturers will release firmware updates to improve performance and to address bugs and security issues. Check for updates a few times a year.

You can check for firmware updates by logging into the router. Most have a tab that allows you to check for updates from that page. You can also go directly to the manufacturer’s website and download the updates.

Final Thoughts

If all this seems overwhelming, don’t let it intimidate you. It’s a bit time consuming, but it’s pretty simple to follow the steps.

You can change the settings on your router using the software provided with the router or by using a web browser on your computer.

Taking the time to properly set up, configure and maintain your home network is important and the minimal effort is more than worth the peace of mind it provides.

How to Secure Your Network

Typically, the home network starts from a router and several connected devices. The router governs the data transmission between the home network and the internet. Your wireless router might be an obscure gadget compared to your beloved game console, smart TV, phone, or tablet, but it’s the most vital defender against malicious external attacks. There are several changes you could make if you want your router to be harder to breach for hackers or malware:

Set a unique password for your Wi-Fi

Set a wireless password to something that is unique and hard to guess. Use something uncommon from other accounts. It is also a good habit to change the password on a regular basis.

Here are some helpful articles on how to make these changes on our most popular routes:

Change the password for your router’s admin account

Do not leave your router’s default password in the default configuration. Hackers and other malicious actors constantly try to break into devices using these publicly known default credentials. It is also a good habit to change the admin password on the regular basis.

Keep the Firmware up to date.

Serving as the essential control code embedded into a network device, the router’s firmware sets the basic security standard for your home network. It can also set parameters such as determining what devices can or cannot connect. Security patches and bug fixes will be applied to firmware updates in order to patch or repair any found network vulnerabilities. A router with automatic updates is the best option, but you will need to make sure you have enabled this feature if it is available. If your router does not have an auto-update feature, then periodically checking for firmware updates manually is highly recommended.

Create a Guest Network.

It is commonplace to have the occasional visitor, but how do you keep your home network safe when they ask if they can connect to your Wi-Fi? Though you may know them, you do not know their internet habits or what might get into your network from the devices they bring with them. The best solution for this concern is to set up a guest network. A guest network is a wireless network that is isolated from the home LAN network; visitors get internet access without the potential to get into your private data. Most routers in today’s market have this feature.

Disable WPS and UPnP functions.

Some Wi-Fi routers have the pair button or WPS button to make connecting Wi-Fi devices easier as you will not have to enter the password to add new devices to your network. However, while it is a convenient feature, it can also be exploited to gain access to your home network.

Similarly, UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) is designed to make it easier for devices like gaming consoles and smart TVs to connect without complex configuration. However, some malware programs specifically target UPnP to infiltrate your home network.

Deco: Log into your Deco app, go to Advanced > UPnP and disable the feature.

Although they bring added convenience, if network security is a major concern for you, it is safer to disable these features and shortcuts.

NOTE: To change your router’s setting you will first need to access the router setup menu. Most routers will use your Internet browser for the setup menu so go ahead and open up Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.. In the address bar of your browser you will want to key in the router’s IP address which will probably be 192.168.x.x (x being a manufacturer specified number). Check the user manual (or do a web search for your router) to find the exact IP address needed.

Some routers will also require you to connect your computer to the router using a physical connection, i.e. a cable. Check your router for details.

Change your router’s default username and password. Right out of the box, your router’s username and password will probably be something like “admin” and “password”. Router manufacturers make it something easy so that you won’t have any issues changing it. If you are unsure of your router’s default login info, consult the owner’s manual. If you no longer have your owner’s manual you can generally do a quick search online for details. Once you’ve found the default login, make sure to choose a name and a password that isn’t too simple. Adding in numbers and symbols is always a plus.

Change your router’s SSID. SSID (Service Set Identifier) is the name that you see when you select a wireless network to connect to. A default SSID, like the router brand name, is a dead giveaway that your network has not been configured past the defaults and is most likely fair game to connect to. Most people looking for free wireless keep an eye out for all the standard default SSID’s so don’t let yourself become a victim!

Here are a few funny SSID names to help get you started.

There are lots of locked networks in Downtown Portland. Stephouse and Ace Hotel’s are unsecured because they’re for public use.

Enable wireless encryption. This is a feature that is available in every wireless home router made in roughly the last decade. You will probably want to choose “WPA2,” as that is the most secure form of wireless encryption available on most home routers. WPA2 might not work with some older versions of Windows, so keep that in mind if you run into any issues. Basically, encryption works to garble your wireless signal to those who do not have access to your Wi-Fi password.

There are a few other things you can do to secure your wireless network, but for the most part, you can secure your wireless network at home by simply creating new login info, changing the SSID, and enabling some wireless encryption. This is going to take care of the vast majority of Wi-Fi freeloaders.

The main goal in wireless security (as with any security) is to deter people from messing with you. Add barbwire to your chain link fence and people are much less likely to climb into your property. That is essentially what the three steps outlined above do.

How to secure your wireless home network

What is a home wireless network?

In a few simple words, a basic home wireless network means connecting an Internet access point, such as a cable from your Internet Service Provider, to a (wireless) router in order to allow multiple devices to connect to the network very quickly.

Many people don’t realize, but the Internet router is one of the most important devices in our home. It’s the gateway to our Internet access and also prone to exploits by cybercriminals who can sneak into our devices and get access to our system.

Though relatively easy to use and access, Wi-Fi networks are not always SECURE networks. Wi-fi comes with lots of security issues. For this reason, learning how to secure your wireless home network against cybercriminals is a wise and smart move. Given how many Internet of Things devices you may own, making sure your network is extra safe carries even more weight, even though sometimes taking care of your cybersecurity can be a tedious but necessary task.

Below are some steps you can take to secure your home wireless network:

  1. Change the name of your default home network
  2. Make sure you set a strong and unique password to secure your wireless network
  3. Use a strong network administrator password to increase Wi-Fi security
  4. Always keep your router’s software up-to-date
  5. Enhance protection for the devices most frequently connected to your home network
  6. Turn off the wireless home network when you’re not at home

In Depth Overview of Steps

Step 1. Change the name of your default home network

If you want to better secure your home network, the first thing you should do is to change the name of your Wi-Fi network, also known as the SSID (Service Set Identifier).

While giving your Wi-Fi a somewhat provocative name such as “Can’t hack this” may backfire at times, other names such as “this is not a wifi” or “too fly for a wifi” are perfectly acceptable.

Changing your Wi-Fi’s default name makes it harder for malicious attackers to know what type of router you have. If a cybercriminal knows the manufacturer name of your router, they will know what vulnerabilities that model has and then try to exploit them.

We strongly advise not to call your home network something like “John’s Wi-Fi”. You don’t want them to know at first glance which wireless network is yours when there are probably three or four other neighboring Wi-Fi’s.

Step 2. Make sure you set a strong and unique password to secure your wireless network

You probably know that every wireless router comes pre-set with a default username and password, which is needed in the first place to install and connect your router. The worst part: it’s easy for hackers to guess it, especially if they know the manufacturer.

So, make sure you change them both immediately.

A good password should be at least 16 characters long. Worried about creating a password you won’t remember? Consider using a passphrase (ex. TP4everyone2day!) or password manager to help.

Step 3. Use a strong network administrator password to increase Wi-Fi security

To set up your wireless router, you usually need to access an online platform or site, where you can make several changes to your network settings.

Most Wi-fi routers come with default credentials such as “admin” and “password” which are easy for malicious hackers to break into.

Step 4. Always keep your router’s software up-to-date

The software is an essential part of your wireless network security. The wireless router’s firmware, like any other software, contains flaws which can become major vulnerabilities and be ruthlessly exploited by hackers.

Unfortunately, many wireless routers don’t come with the option to auto-update their software, so you have to go through the hassle of doing this manually.

And even for those Wi-Fi networks that can auto-update, it still requires you to switch on this setting. But, we remind you about the importance of software patching and how neglecting to do this can leave open doors for cybercriminals to exploit various vulnerabilities.

Step 5. Enhance protection for the devices most frequently connected to your home network

Important: Do not leave any exposed vulnerabilities for online criminals to pick on!

Even though you’ve increased protection for your router and home network, you need to make sure you don’t have any security holes that can be exploited by online criminals.

Here’s what we recommend you to do:

  1. Remember to always keep your devices up to date with the most recent software available;
  2. Always apply the latest security patches to ensure no security hole is left open to malicious actors.
  3. Check which devices connect most often to your home network and make sure they have antivirus and/or an anti-malware security software installed.
  4. Make sure to protect your devices using multiple security layers consisting of specialized security software such as updated antivirus programs and traffic filtering software.

Step 6. Turn off the wireless home network when you’re not at home

In order to secure your network, we strongly recommend you to disable the wireless home network, in case of extended periods of non-use. You should do the same thing with all your devices that are using Ethernet cables or when you won’t be at home.

By doing this, you are closing any windows of opportunity malicious hackers might attempt to get access to it while you are away.

Here are a few advantages of disabling your wireless network:

  • Security reasons – Turning off your network devices, it minimizes the chances of becoming a target for hackers.
  • Surge protection – When you power off your network device, you also lower the possibility of being damaged by electric power surges;
  • Noise reduction – Although the modern home networks are much quieter these days, disabling your wireless home network can add calmness to your home.

How to secure your wireless home network

Editor’s Note: This blog was reviewed and updated on April 20, 2020

Working remotely has changed the way many of us approach our 9 to 5. Even before the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 pushed many to work remotely, one study found that around 70% of people worked from home at least one day a week, and 53% spent at least half the week working remotely. Even attorneys are starting to jump on the bandwagon, trading late nights at the office for simply taking their laptop home. However, keeping client information safe means ensuring your home setup is as secure as the one in your office.

These tips will help you protect your data when you’re working from home:

Change Your Defaults

When you first set up a wireless network, the router comes with a default name and password. However, the default network name can alert hackers as to what type of router you’re using, and if they know the manufacturer that default password becomes easier to guess. Changing both to something unique, but without personal information, will help protect your network (and your personal information).

Encrypt Your Network

Most wireless routers come with encryption, but their default setting is often “off.” Turning on this feature adds another layer of protection to your wireless network. Encryption scrambles the information transmitted between your computer and your wireless router, rendering it useless for anyone who intercepts it.

Start a Fire(wall)

A firewall prevents hackers from accessing devices connected to your wireless network.

Many routers come with their own firewall but, like the encryption feature, might be shipped with this feature turned off. Check your router’s settings to ensure the firewall is up and running.

Try a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is one of the most common forms of added security. If you’re working at home and already using the above methods, a VPN probably isn’t necessary. However, if you decide to do some work at your favorite coffee shop, a hotel, or a business center, using a VPN on your work computer helps make a public Wifi network more secure.