Last Updated on December 1, 2020 by Staff Writer
Background of home WiFi
Home WiFi connection gives you the freedom to surf the internet in any part of your house. However, do you know there are 6 critical things to check on your home WiFi to be secure?
Yes, in some cases if you are not careful someone may plug into your network without your knowledge. I mentioned that in one article when I was shedding more light on Pineapple attacks.
Although we have the Computer Security Day on November 30th, it’s just a reminder to nudge you when you grow complacent. Your security cannot be traded for anything, so these tips I will share with you ensure that you are protected from cyber-attacks.
What do these attackers want?
The internet is like a jungle and if you make one wrong step, you pay with your personal data or more. Some of the ways hackers take advantage of home security loopholes include:
- Stealing bank details
- Stealing passwords
- Your identity can be stolen and used to commit cyber-crimes
- Webcams can be hacked and private images are leaked online or used for extortion
- Hackers can monitor your home network and rob you when you are not there
Here is how you can keep your home WiFi network safe:
Make sure all your devices are up to date
As technology evolves hackers also find new ways to penetrate your device’s security. Manufacturers address this by constantly rolling out updates of operating systems so as to patch any vulnerabilities.
When did you last update your device; be it phone, laptop or router? If you find it difficult to manually check for new updates, it is better to set them on auto-update.
According to an article on Forbes, an iOS 14.2 update fixed 24 security issues and some were already being exploited by hackers.
In some cases, the manufacturer stops supporting updates for an obsolete operating system (the case with Windows XP) or device. In that case, you gotta cut the umbilical cord and upgrade to a newer system or device.
If updates stop coming, you become a sitting duck and hackers will have a field day.
Are you are using recommended encryption settings?
Make sure you are using at least WPA2-PSK (AES) encryption on your router. Don’t be scared with the geeky terminology.
Let’s get it out of the way:
WPA (WiFi Protected Access)
PSK (Pre-Shared Key) This is the password you need to connect to the WiFi network.
AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)
WPA was developed by WiFi Alliance to secure wireless computer networks.
Prior to WPA, there was WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and the latter is no longer recommended because it was cracked years ago.
WPA has gone through several versions and the latest is WPA 3, introduced in January 2018.
The take home message is that make sure your WiFi network is secured by WPA 2, or even better, WPA 3.
Use a password manager
Why struggle with passwords when a password manager can generate a unique, highly secure password automatically?
If you create a password yourself that you want to remember, chances are that password is not secure.
Just take a look at the 200 dumbest passwords that were cracked in 2020 and the numbers involved.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Fortunately, a password manager takes the load off your shoulders and handles all password forms seamlessly.
NordPass password manager is one tool that you can start using now for free. It is cloud-based and uses the XChaCha20 encryption algorithm, which is the next-generation encryption.
Be careful of guests whom you have given access to your password. If that’s the case, make sure you change your password regularly.
NordPass can generate a fresh password anytime and all that happens in the background. You don’t need password stress, do the right thing.
Do you know who is connected to your network?
One danger of setting your devices to automatically connect to your home WiFi network is that you may be oblivious to WiFi leeches.
Take time to check all the devices that have used your home WiFi and see if you can identify them.
What IoT devices are you using?
IoT devices refers to physical objects with sensors, softwares or other technologies that enable them to exchange data over the internet.
- Smart smoke detectors
- Elderly care monitoring
- Smart heating
- Video doorbells
- Personal assistants
- And a whole lot more devices
Sometimes you may forget to disconnect IoT devices when not in use and they connect automatically, using up data.
Therefore it’s important to disconnect what you are not using. Remember since they are linked to the internet any vulnerability on them can be exploited by hackers.
Like what I highlighted in the first section, keep your IoT devices up to date.
Avoid using default passwords or other leaky settings that came from the manufacturer. Always consult security experts to make sure the devices are configured properly.
Working with super-sensitive data? Use a VPN
If you are working from home chances are you may work with sensitive data, either personal or work-related data.
In that case you need an extra layer of security for your home WiFi and a VPN is perfect for addressing that.
Stop a man-in-the-middle attack in its tracks and encrypt everything you do on the internet. An excellent VPN must not compromise the user experience, be it speed or connectivity.
That is why you need to use only the best VPN services. You can protect devices for everyone in your family.
These top VPNs can be installed on your router and you can secure any device connected to the WiFi network.
Our top picks are:
These are the 6 things to check on your home WiFi. Your home is your sanctuary and the last thing you want is a cyber-attack right in your backyard.
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