Would you be okay if a stranger, who may be a potential threat, lurk around your house and peep through the windows? If no, then you should be also aware of the fact that you might be under the surveillance of certain people in the virtual world of internet as well. These people, popularly known as internet hackers are cyber criminals are experts in stealing your data and misusing them to their advantage, like hacking into your email account and getting sensitive information about your financial activities and other stuff.
Hackers can easily get into your account to steal money and use your personal data to harass you and blackmail you to get favors done. They can even sign in to your social media accounts and post things on your behalf which can create various problems. This is a huge problem which is going to increase by each passing day. The cyber security community, an organization fighting against these cyber crimes has estimated that by 2021, the monetary damage caused by cyber crimes will be around $6trillion, which will increase every year.
Regular home wireless networking is the most vulnerable to these cyber attacks as most of the people tend to overlook the security measures, which makes it very easy for the attackers to hack into the network. However, you can minimize the chances of being a victim of cyber crimes if you take enough precautions. The best thing to do is make sure that your personal wireless network at home is secured through the following steps.
The name of the WiFi network
It is important to change the name of your wireless network from what it is when you get it set up by the internet service provider. This is because, most of the times, things like the name of the service provider, what kind of wireless network it is, and your identity can be made out from the name of your wireless network.
When you change the name of your WiFi network, it’s recommended that you don’t change it into something that would evoke the hackers. For example, “Hackers stay away” is not an ideal name for your wireless network even if it’s just for. Having a password to prevent your neighbors from using your WiFi is not really going to help you much if you don’t have a proper name to it.
The password to your WiFi network
It’s strictly recommended that you don’t use a password that could be easily found out, like your mobile number or your birthday. Instead, you should use a strong password that is pretty lengthy and consisting of a combination of letter, numbers, and symbols. Never forget to change the default password which comes with your setup because if the hackers identify your service provider, it will be easier for him to hack your wireless network.
Encryption is a process that helps you secure your data. To access encrypted data, you would need a password which makes it harder for a hacker to attack your personal network. The wireless network can be encrypted using multiple languages like WEP, WPA or WPA2. Since WEP is pretty old and most hackers already know how to crack them, it’s better if you don’t use it for encrypting your network.
WPA2 is new and has different variants under it like TKIP and AES. TKIP is the older one which was developed with WPA, which is why AES is considered to be the better choice for encryption. AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and is used by more people including the government of the United States to keep the potential threats at bay.
Switch off the router whenever you’re not at home
Whenever you’re not at home, it is best to off your WiFi router. This is because a hacker may identify it and can come close to your building to get access to it without your knowledge. People do use the internet from unknown networks, but you never know which one of them just want to use the internet and which one is a hacker that can harm you. Whatsoever, you don’t really want anyone else to use your personal WiFi.
Keep your modem or router in the center of the house or the building. If you’re living in an apartment, make sure that you keep it away from the door and walls that are connected to other apartments. The position of the router depends upon the kind of building or living set up you’re in. The objective behind this is to keep the router at a maximum distance from the outside spots where a hacker can be and to ensure Network Security. Since WiFi is accessible only within a particular area range, the hacker will not be able to connect to it.
Admin name and password
When you set up a new WiFi, you would usually need to sign into to an administrator account on the internet. Through this account, you can make changes to your wireless network connection further. However, most of these admin accounts come with a default username and password depending on your service provider. If you don’t change this, it will be easy for a hacker to attack you. The key point to be noted is that this user name and password is not the name of your wireless connection and its password.
Software update and Firewall activation
With the increase in the threats of hacker people now generally use firewalls and antiviruses to keep themselves from getting hacked. However, most of them forget to update the software or the firewall they are using which could cost very costly. In the case of wireless networks, it is very important that you update the software since the outdated versions can be easier for the hacker to crack through. You will either get notifications when a new update comes up or you will have to do it manually. Nonetheless, it is very important that you do it.
An updated firewall or antivirus will definitely be very difficult for a hacker to get through. If your router doesn’t come with an already installed firewall, you may have to get one and install it. A firewall for your wireless network connection is like antivirus software that protects you from unwanted and malicious threats and provides you Network Security.
Here is a handy infographic spelling it all out.