3 Easy Steps to Securing Your
Posted October 20, 2016
Cords are the worst, which is why we all love our wireless internet. But weaknesses in your Wi-Fi security puts you at risk. Poor security settings on your Wi-Fi can allow cyber criminals to access your computer, Wi-Fi connected cameras – including baby monitors (creepy!) – and other smart devices connected to your wireless network. It also allows these criminals to snoop on everything you do online.
Bad Wi-Fi security doesn’t just allow your neighbors to take up your bandwidth. It allows your neighbors, and passersby, to take away privacy and information.
The biggest issue is our lack of patience. When setting up our Wi-Fi, we couldn’t care less about security settings, passwords, user names, guest networks, blah, blah, blah. We’ve probably all been guilty of just wanting Netflix working ASAP! Because of this, we leave the vulnerable default settings in place. However, taking a few extra minutes now will save you from pain down the road.
First, find your router. You router will probably look like a box with lights or antennas where your Wi-Fi signal comes from (sometimes it’s combined with an internet modem). Examples:
You probably threw away the manual to the router, so just find the name and model and search for the “user guide” “owner’s manual” or “getting started” guide on Google. Access the settings on your router following the instructions. Here are the general steps you’ll want to take:
- Change the router username and password. Default names and passwords make it so easy for anyone to change your settings.
NOTE: There is a difference between a router password and your Wi-Fi password. The router password is the password to the physical router box, allowing you to make setting changes to your Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi password is what allows a computer, phone, tablet, etc. to connect to your Wi-Fi.
- Change your Wi-Fi password. You can still keep your clever Wi-Fi name (“NotYoWifi”), but change the password. What’s a good password?.
- Change your security to WPA or WPA2. There will be three different Wi-Fi security levels: Open, WEP, WPA/WPA2.
- Don’t use Open. It’s allows anyone to connect, even a stranger walking past your home.
- Also, don’t use WEP. It’s an obsolete encryption technology that can now be cracked by hackers in seconds. We don’t even know why they still have this.
- WPA2 is a solid encryption security setting. Select this one!