‘With great power comes great responsibility’
The Internet is becoming a powerful tool in today’s world, and so is the responsibility of keeping it secure.
With an increasing amount of personal broadband connections in our country, the risk of them getting hacked has also increased. Protecting your Wi-Fi has become as vital as locking your home when you go out. There are freeloaders all around, who can use the internet you’re paying for, without your knowledge. An insecure Wi-Fi can also lead to the invasion of personal data.
It’s a risky world out there and taking informed steps to secure your network is crucial. So, here are some simple ways in which you can protect you Wi-Fi:
- Change the Password of Your Router
Typically, all routers from the same manufacturers have a similar password. You can change the password by following the below given steps:
- Open a browser and enter http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.2.1. The IP address will depend on your router and is documented in the user manual
- Navigate to the security tab in your router’s admin panel and change the password
- Have a Strong Wi-Fi Password
Strong Wi-Fi passwords are the core of network security. Make sure you follow the tips mentioned below when forming a Wi-Fi password:
- Have a longer password and misspell it a little
- Avoid using places, names, and dictionary words
- Use systems like leetspeak to form a password
- Always include numbers, symbols, upper-case and lower-case letters
It is also recommended to change your Wi-Fi password periodically.
- Upgrade Your Router’s Firmware
Updating to the latest available firmware is critical. Even though the router panel might look dull and not updated, even after an update, the backend fixes will save your network from being compromised.
- Don’t Enable Port Forwarding
Even though most routers will have Port Forwarding disabled, it is important to check your router for this function. Log in to your router’s admin panel using http://192.168.1.1 and disable Port Forwarding option.
- MAC-Address Filtering
This function is incredibly useful if your home connection has a fixed number of devices connected to your Wi-Fi. A MAC address is unique and is assigned to every device capable of connecting to Wi-Fi. Open your router’s admin panel and allow connectivity only to the devices that belong to you.
However, in cases where MAC filtering cannot be enabled, number of connected devices on a Wi-Fi network can still be identified. To do this, either log-in to the router or install a Wi-Fi analyser application on the phone to monitor the number of connected devices.
- Disable UPnP
Universal Plug and Play allows any device to connect to the network without configuring it first. Disable it in the router’s admin panel to secure your Wi-Fi and avoid any device from accessing your network. A network printer is a typical example.
- Disable WPS
Turn off WPS to prevent any unauthorised access as it works like UPnP
- Network Name
Changing the SSID of your router to something different than the router’s brand or model number is advisable as it will help in minimising attacks from the hackers.
- Disable Guest Access
Nowadays, every router has guest access. Make sure to disable it in the router’s admin panel. To enable it again, always have a guest Wi-Fi password different from the primary password.
- Enable Network Encryption
WPA2 with AES is far superior regarding network security when compared to WEP or WPA. Change it in the router’s admin panel for maximum security.
- Hide SSID
Use the ‘Hide SSID’ feature in your Wi-Fi router. Go to the router admin panel to disable broadcasting SSID. To connect to Wi-Fi, you will need to enter both the SSID and the password, which makes the network more secure.
There’s no doubt that the internet has become a crucial part of our daily lives. From learning to entertainment and even conducting businesses, it assists us everywhere. Thus, it becomes all the more important for us to not leave any gaps for others to invade our privacy through the internet. And with the ways mentioned above, you can do it efficiently and effectively too.