With technology developing each day, protecting yourself when you go online is more important now than ever. Many people set up their Wi-Fi with the bare minimum settings and are unsure about the potential risks of having a compromised Wi-Fi. But with all our bank details, transactions and personal histories being accessed through the internet, it is worth it to read up a bit on how to make your online journey a bit safer.
Here is how you can secure your Wi-Fi connection. Read on.
5 SIMPLE STEPS FOR A SAFER WI-FI
There are many ways to increase the security of your WiFi but for the average person, we have listed down 5 of the easier ones that every household should be able to get done in a single afternoon.
1. CHECK YOUR FIREWALL IS ACTIVE
Most routers have firewalls built into them, which check incoming and outgoing data to block any suspicious activity. These usually come with a reasonable default setting so you've probably been utilizing this since the WiFi was installed but for those who want to be more secure, you can adjust your software firewall to request your permission to block or allow traffic for certain programs.
2. USE A VPN
A VPN or virtual private network will help you stay safe and secure online while above all keeping your information private. They do this by encrypting your data to hide it from anyone who is trying to spy on you. Another advantage of using a VPN is that you'll be also able to access content from all over the world that might otherwise not be available.
For those interested in the best VPNs to use in Singapore, this is a good resource.
3. STRONGER ENCRYPTION
It is important to keep up to date when it comes to encryption, some WiFi access points still offer the older WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) standard of protection which is outdated and not secure. To keep out intruders, it's essential to use some variant of WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) protection. For most households, it is more practical to use WPA with a pre-shared key. That means everybody uses the same password to connect and network security depends on them not sharing the password with outsiders.
Some routers offer a feature called Wireless Protect Setup (WPS) which provided an easy way to connect devices to a WPA protected wireless network. However, this can be exploited by hackers to retrieve your WPA password, so it is important to disable WPS in the router's settings.
4. CHOOSE A SECURE WPA PASSWORD
It is easy to set up devices with their default settings, for example, setting the default admin name and password which are often printed on the router itself to allow quick access and setup. This means that hackers will try these to access your network. Changing both access name and password will make it more difficult for a stranger to gain access.
You can test the security of your WPA protected network by using a WiFi security testing tool. You'll be asked to provide some data (the same data that a hacker could capture from anywhere in the range of your network) and the service will attempt to extract your password.
Here is a list of 15 WiFi security testing tools that you can try out.
5. SEPARATE NETWORK FOR GUESTS
Most of the time, the first question you will get from guests is if they can connect to the WiFi so it makes sense to offer a guest network. This means that they can connect to the internet without getting access to your internal network which is important for security reasons and any accidental viruses or malware they might come across. One way to do this is by using a separate internet connection with its own wireless access point.
After setting up a guest network, turning on WPA protection will allow you control over who uses your network and more importantly, it protects your guests from other people who might be trying to spy on their activity.
This article was first published in Shopback.