This article consists of a brief guide to enhancing home network security that is not limited to the techno-geeks but can also be useful for non-tech savvy people. This article does to secure wireless networks what gyms do to humans.
Safety is a rudimentary concept that we should be careful of in all aspects of life. Whether it is the humongous task of flying an airplane over the Bermuda Triangle or the petty job of talking to people in proximity without a mask, safety must always come first. Safety starts at home. Your home is home to all the critical data from all chores of your life. Never in human history have we been more connected to the Internet than in the present. So, securing this “sacred” connection has to our responsibility. Your “critical data” can range from bank credentials to private files/applications/moments (the kind that you might not even want your parents to see, let alone a stranger with hacking skills).
You can only imagine the loss incurred once a hacker gets access to an unprotected home network. Malware campaigns, data and identity theft, and botnets are just a few of the possible ways in which a hacker can exploit a vulnerable home network. That is why home network security is a need these days. And, I promise you, achieving a secure home network isn’t rocket science.
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How To Achieve Home Network Security
Basic things that you can do to minimize the vulnerabilities and how to secure a home network:
Change Your Wifi’s Name
For those who always wonder how to secure wifi, The first thing that you could do to have a better shot at securing your home network would be changing the name of your wifi network, also known as the SSID (service set identifier), from its default manufacturer name to a new casual one.
Doing so makes it harder for malicious attackers to know what type of router you have. Which, in turn, makes it harder for them to know what vulnerabilities that model has. Which, again, prevents them from coming up with ways to exploit the vulnerabilities. Seriously, we all know the kind of impact changing names of things can have. Go ahead and ask Akshay Kumar, Katy Perry, and Prayagraj.
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Keep A Strong Password
You’ve got to make sure that your password is like JEE Advanced, which is really difficult to crack. An ideal wireless password must contain at least 20 characters that include numbers, letters, and various symbols. Also, share the password only with people that you know. Because, duh?
You can also opt for increasing your wifi security by activating network encryption. Wireless networks come with various encryption languages, such as WEP, WPA, or WPA2. It is highly recommended that you switch to WPA2 security.
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Get A Firewall
A firewall can literally act as the Wall in Game of Thrones, fending off attacks from undesired characters. Firewalls are available in both hardware and software variants.
Hardware firewalls have an advantage over the software version in the sense that they add one extra layer of security. Most modern routers have a built-in firewall that should protect your network from potential cyber-attacks. It is strongly recommended to turn it on if it is not, by default.
Turn Remote Access off
The majority of the routers allow the users to access their interface only from a device connected to the network. Exceptionally, some routers allow access even from remote systems. Malicious actors thrive on this opportunity to attempt to access your router’s privacy settings from a device not connected to your wireless network. If you have a constant set of devices, it would be better to turn Remote access or Remote administration off. To make this happen and to get more home network security, access the web interface and look for settings. Otherwise, it would be Sarah Connor posing as the Terminator and causing all the unnecessary chaos, all over again.
To even further enhance the wireless network security, you can turn off the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server in the router, which is what IP addresses are assigned to each device on a network. Instead, you can use a static address and enter your network settings. This implies that you can enter into your device and assign it an IP address that is suitable for your router.
Generally, it is ideal to install the wireless router somewhere near the middle of the house. Not only does it aid in providing an equal range throughout the length of the house to all your rooms. But, it also assists in making sure that the wifi signals don’t reach too much outside your home, where they can be a target of malicious people.
The most trivial way to achieve home network security would undoubtedly be to disable the wireless home network in case of prolonged periods of non-use. By doing this, you are closing any window (or Android, LOL) of opportunity malicious hackers might target to get access to it while you are away. Well, it’s also an environment-friendly option which not only conserves electricity but also saves on the electricity bill. Umm… Mohan Bhargav, aka SRK from Swades, would be proud.
The wireless router’s firmware, like any other software, might contain flaws that can develop into vulnerabilities and be exploited by hackers. Make sure that you keep your router’s software up-to-date. Software patching is an important task. Neglecting to do this can leave doors open for hackers to exploit the vulnerabilities. It would be in the best of interest for the system and yourself to switch on the “Auto-Update” option. This will also save you from unnecessary hassle.
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It’s natural to be scared about privacy and our network security these days because of the amount of growing crimes. Therefore, follow all these points carefully to achieve home network security so that you can relax and enjoy your Internet experience without any worries.
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You can always find me with a cup of coffee Googling anything and everything related to the networking. Refer to our detailed How-To Guides on wifi routers and never face any issue with router again!