While Wi-Fi offers a convenient, untethered data connection, it comes with many security woes that hackers love to exploit. But without knowing the tactics that hackers use to target Wi-Fi-enabled devices, it’s hard for users to know which of their tech habits may be putting them at risk.
Here we take a look at a few simple precautions to reduce a cyber-attack and prevent you from becoming a victim.
Tip 1 – Use complex passwords
It’s a good idea to change your router’s default username and password, as it’s easy for hackers to access algorithms of commonly used default usernames and passwords. If you haven’t changed the username and password from the default one supplied by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), you’ll likely be first in line when it comes to a hack.
Everybody knows that passwords should be a complex and hard-to-guess mix of numbers and letters, symbols and characters, and uppercase and lowercase to make them hard to guess. But the default username (commonly referred to as the SSID) should follow the same principles.
Calling your Wi-Fi network something like ‘Home_Wi-Fi’ is an obvious and easy-to-guess name, but changing it to something like a memorable family phrase or inside joke is much harder to crack.
Tip 2 – Use a VPN to Secure Your Connections
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a robust data encryption method and is an excellent way of securing your network. It’s essentially a bit of software that directs your internet traffic through a private tunnel that makes it visible to you alone.
While a VPN doesn’t make your network impervious to attacks, it does hide your browsing activity from others by encrypting and securing potentially sensitive information such as banking details and payment information.
Tip 3 – Set Up a Guest Network
Most modern routers allow the setup of an additional Guest Wi-Fi Network that’s separate from your main network, with its own network name and password. Guests can then connect to this rather than your primary network, which helps to keep things more private. This is advisable for businesses and those who rent out properties, such as through Airbnb.
Tip 4 – Keep Routers and Devices Up-to-Date
Routers and devices are constantly being updated to fix bugs and security vulnerabilities, so it’s vital to make sure these updates are installed.
While most routers (and smart devices) will update automatically, it’s still a good idea to log into your router to make sure the latest update has been downloaded. Similarly, making sure the operating systems of smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices all have the latest software versions is recommended.
Tip 5 – Hide the SSID of Your Router
This is another little trick that can help you to hide your Wi-Fi network so that others can’t view it.
Usually, when your device attempts to connect to a local Wi-Fi network, it will scan the surrounding area and pull up a list of in-range Wi-Fi networks. Most modern routers have the function to hide your network’s name from showing up in these scans, so visibility is low, and there’s less chance of a hack attack.