The tech revolution has changed our lives mostly for the better. The internet, along with devices like smartphones, computers, tablets, etc. have made the world smaller and easier to navigate through.
The tech landscape is continuously changing with innovations and inventions sprouting out to make our lives even easier. However, unfortunately, the advances in technology have also made it easier for criminals to carry out illicit activities.
Another interesting piece of technology that has made it possible for us to access the internet from any place in our homes is a wireless network. Once your device is connected to your wireless network, you can access the internet wirelessly as long as you stay within reach of your router’s signals.
But what really is a wireless network and how does it work? Are wireless networks secure to use? We’ll just get to that shortly.
What is a Wireless Network & How Does it Work?
To put in layman’s terms, you connect the cable from your ISP modem to a wireless router, which then allows multiple devices to connect to that network. So, instead of taking a cable from your ISP modem and inserting it in your laptop or PC, you can just simply connect to the wireless router without the need of inserting the cable each time.
Even though wireless networks have made it easier for us to access the internet, they are not always secure. Often, vulnerabilities of the wireless router are exploited by hackers to gain access to your network and steal your data. Once they gain access to your wireless network, they can track everything you do over the internet.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel as you can beef up the security of your wireless network security. How? Here are a few ways:
Create a Strong Password
To keep your router secure, creating a strong Wi-Fi password is extremely important. A weak password will make it very easier for hackers to break into your network. So, how do you set up a strong password?
To begin with, create a password that contains both numbers and letters. Remember, the password must be something random and not related to your work, your pet’s name, birth dates, etc. because that would make it easier for hackers to guess your password.
Secondly, don’t create an easy password like “123456abcdef” because if you do, then you’re leaving yourself more prone to being hacked. Put some time and effort in this process (between 2 to 5 mins) and come up with a strong password with numbers and alphabets. It’ll also help to have a symbol (like @, #, $) in your password.
Change Your Network Name
If you don’t already have a customized name for your Wi-Fi, then you should create one immediately. Most Wi-Fi routers come with the router model’s name as default, making it easier for hackers to know which Wi-Fi router you’re using and what vulnerabilities to exploit in that certain router model. So, by changing the name, you’ll make it difficult for a hacker to figure out what wireless network you’re using and how to gain access to it.
However, make sure the name you create for your wireless router doesn’t have any personal information. For example, ‘Jack’s Apartment 4’ is a bad idea for a name because you’re giving away sensitive details like your name and apartment number or floor, which only makes it easier for hackers to infiltrate your network. Something like ‘Wi-Fi Away’ or ‘My Wi-Fi’ are perfectly acceptable.
Use Network Encryption
An encrypted wireless network is a very important tool that can be used to protect yourself from hackers. Wireless networks come equipped with several encryption methods – such as WEP, WPA or WPA2 – but selecting which one to use could be a bit tricky for the Average Joe, and that is where we come in.
We believe the best encryption method for a secured Wi-Fi is the WPA 2, which has several variants. One of the variants – AES, short for Advanced Encryption Standard – is the most advanced encryption method currently available and is used by several governments worldwide.
Other Useful Tips to Secure Your Router
While we’ve gone over the most important ways on how to secure your wireless network, there are some other ways to keep uninvited guests out of your network. Employ the following methods to further secure your router:
- Turn off any Remote Management features
- Regularly change your Wi-Fi passwords (at least every six months)
- Make sure your router’s software is up-to-date
- Use a Firewall
- Limit access to your network
- Place your router in the center of your house to limit the range of your wireless network and keep strangers from accessing it.
It’s no secret that we are highly dependent on technology for everyday tasks. However, while technologies like wireless network routers have had a positive effect on our daily lives, there are downsides to it. Employ the methods we’ve discussed, and you’ll be just fine. But, if you become lazy and stop following these methods, it just might end up costing you!