I’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories of the dangers of going online. Whether it’s a hacker exposing your personal information or a virus taking over your computer, there is always some danger lurking in the shadows for you when you are surfing on WiFi.
Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure your wireless connection is secure. There are many ways to increase your WiFi security, and you should be doing all of them if you want the best possible protection for yourself. Here are 8 ways to increase WiFi security.
1. Ditch the Simple Passwords
Simple passwords are the easiest and most common ways to hack a wireless connection. If you have an easy, simple password like “password” or “1234”, I can almost guarantee that someone else has tried it to get access to your wireless network.
Hackers have an easy time cracking these types of passwords, so it’s essential to use a strong password that is difficult to guess. An excellent way to create a strong password is to use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
Avoid personal names, places, and words. You may think that it’s clever to use your birthdate or the name of your pet as a password. Many people do this, which makes for easy access for hackers on WiFi networks.
2. Install an Antivirus Software
One of the ways hackers gain access to WiFi networks is by tricking you into downloading a virus on your computer. Hackers know that most people don’t regularly scan their computers to send out viruses and malware without being noticed.
To protect yourself from these types of attacks, install antivirus software on all devices used for WiFi access. This will help prevent viruses or other harmful software from being downloaded onto your devices. It can also protect the WiFi network itself by blocking hackers’ attempts at accessing it.
3. Change the Default Credentials
You’d be surprised how many people never change their home routers’ default username and password. The factory settings are usually something like “admin” and “password”. Unfortunately, hackers easily guessed these, so it’s essential to change them to something more challenging to guess.
And don’t just change the password only. Disable SSID broadcast. When you broadcast your service set identifier (SSID), which is the name of your WiFi access point, anyone who knows about it can attempt to connect. If you disable SSID broadcast, only devices that know the network name will be able to connect.
This makes it more difficult for someone who isn’t authorized to gain access to your WiFi network.
4. Enable WPA or WPA-PSK Encryption
Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption is no longer considered very strong and can be cracked in minutes by hackers. A better option is WiFi Protected Access (WPA) or WPA Pre-Shared Key (WPA-PSK).
These encrypt your wireless network traffic and are faster than WEP. You can purchase routers that support these protocols or upgrade the router’s firmware to add them if it doesn’t already have this feature enabled.
5. Secure Ethernet Ports
Most people don’t think about securing their network ports, but this is another way to prevent hackers from easily accessing information.
Even if you have a wireless router and use it as your primary access point for all devices connected via WiFi, there still might be certain workstations that require wired connectivity, such as servers or computers in the management office.
These should not be connected to the wireless network but should use a wired connection directly to the router. This is where securing your Ethernet ports comes in. You can do this by using a cable lock or by configuring the IP address so that only certain devices can connect to them.
Another way to secure your Ethernet ports is by using the SSH (Secure Shell) protocol. This will require setting up a server and clients, but it provides an extra layer of security for connected devices.
6. Keep the WiFi Router Firmware Updated
Timely updates are not just for your phone or computer. Router firmware updates can include security patches to help protect your network from attacks.
Most routers have a section in their settings where you can check for and install firmware updates. Be sure to do this regularly, mainly if known vulnerabilities apply to your router’s model.
7. Avoid Auto-Connect
Auto-connecting to your home or work network is effortless and convenient. I get it. So do hackers.
Most routers have a feature that automatically allows you to connect when in range of the network. This is great for home users but can also expose your wireless traffic if it’s not encrypted or secured through other means.
Hackers can create fake hotspot networks that look like your home or office network. Then, when you auto-connect to these networks, you’re giving away your information without even realizing it. Therefore, it’s best to disable the auto-connect feature and connect to your network manually.
8. Encrypt Your WiFi Router Admin Pages
Encrypting your router’s admin pages with a digital certificate for WiFi is another way to protect your WiFi traffic. Unfortunately, the self-signed certificates that come with most routers are easily cracked, so you’ll want to use a more robust certificate from a trusted provider. This will protect your router’s admin pages from being accessed by unauthorized users.
Additionally, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) app on your phone or computer when connecting over any public network. This will encrypt and secure all of the information sent back and forth from your device to the internet itself.
The benefits of increasing your WiFi security can’t be overstated. From protecting you from identity theft to keeping your confidential information safe, taking a few simple steps can go a long way.
By following the simple steps outlined in this post, you can keep your data safe from prying eyes and ensure that your online activities remain confidential. So don’t wait any longer – start beefing up your security today!