How to Secure Your Home Network
Believe it or not, the internet router is the most important electronic device in your home. It can potentially provide hackers with unfettered access to other digital devices connected with it. We have some tips on how you can protect your network infrastructure.
In case you're not a techie, here is a glossary of some of the terms you'll encounter.
WEP: Wired Equivalent Privacy is an outdated option introduced in 1999 that can't deal with modern hacking challenges. If you have WEP router, it's past time for it to be replaced.
WPA: WiFi Protected Access was created in 2003 to address the issues related to WEP. It implemented a security standard known as Temporal Key Integrity Protocol but still was problem-stricken because of its similarities to WEP.
WPA2: WPA2 is an upgrade for WPA that was introduced in 2004. Considered the gold standard, this home network is based on the U.S. Government's preferred encryption choice, known as Advanced Encryption Standard.
WPS: WiFi Protected Setup was created to make adding a device to a WPA2 network easier but hackers later developed a program that makes WPS very vulnerable to attack. Most network experts recommend using WPA2 with WPS disabled.
Ways to secure your home network
- Avoid using routers from internet service providers because they are usually less secure than those sold directly to consumers.
- Give your router a name that's memorable but doesn't sound directly connected to you or your address.
- Never leave the default password on your router. All someone has to do to gain access to your settings is park near your home and point their phone at it. Again, choose one that is secure but memorable using a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters.
- Be sure to check for updates to your router's software, which can include new protections developed by the manufacturer.
- When working with a router, use the browse in icognito or private mode and never allow the browser to save the router's username and password.
- Nobody gives away free money. Keep your eyes open for suspicious emails that are phishing for information. If you've taken the previous steps to protect your network, definitely don't let your guard down against malware disguised as promotions for phony lotteries and giveaways.