A ‘home network’ consists of not just the internet hardware, like the router or modem, but also the entire grid of devices that connect to the web using these gateways. A router, particularly, plays an important role in this sophisticated flow of data signals. It receives and directs information packets between data-hungry devices and web servers. In other words, a single slip in router security can bring the whole network down, compromising your phones, laptops, tablets, PCs, or connected smart home hubs. That is why you need to ensure the safety of your internet system. How can you do it while sitting at home? This post will show you the way.
Enable the Network’s Firewall
The purpose of a firewall is to shield your network and linked devices from any sort of cyberattack. It allows outbound communication while restricting incoming traffic. Some firewalls are so state-of-the-art that they filter malicious codes trying to access the network from the get-go. Today’s routers usually have a built-in firewall and antivirus, anti-malware or anti-spyware protections in place to keep the hackers at bay. A case in point being the amazing Panoramic Wifi system by Cox. This gear’s Advanced Security software is a part of the Cox internet prices, and well worth a shot. There’s an app too, from which you can monitor the network traffic.
In case you use a personal router, then make sure to turn the firewall setting on, and stay safe on the web. If your device doesn’t have a built-in firewall, then you can find loads of free and premium solutions online designed for your network’s safety.
Password-Protect Your Internet
One of the best ways to secure your home internet connection is to seal its access with a strong password. Nearly all of the latest routers come with WPA2 or Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 protocol, which requires new devices to provide a ‘password key’ to receive wireless data coverage. This password key should ideally be a unique combination of letters, numbers or symbols, and hard to predict. You should also change your Wi-Fi password frequently to set off any potential hackers from their track.
Another thing you need to keep in mind that new routers have a default passkey on their settings, created by the manufacturer or product distributor. When you get the hardware, make sure to change that password too. A hacker with expertise in defaults could bypass the security code on the router’s inner setting and reconfigure the device altogether to create chaos in your home network. So, limit the access to your Wi-Fi and protect the router with the help of unique passwords.
Make Your SSID Hard to Guess
An SSID or Service Set Identifier is the default name of your network, which appears publically on the wireless stream. It could be anything from ‘admin’ to ‘user’, or even the company’s name from where you have purchased your internet device. The thing about a default SSID is that it suggests vulnerability, and is far more likely to catch a hacker’s eye than a network with a unique name. To change your network’s SSID, enter your router’s unique IP address in a browser, log in as an administrator, open the settings, and update your Wi-Fi name or SSID from there.
An even better option would be to disable network name broadcasting altogether if you have a private home internet, and not a business or public one. This will hide your Wi-Fi’s name from the list of surrounding devices scanning for a wireless network. But, what if you have a ton of guests coming over? Then, go for a guest network.
In the same SSID settings, you will find an option to create a dedicated guest Wi-Fi name and password. This will take the heat off your primary network, and ensure a high level of privacy. Do check your router’s guest settings, as to how many devices it will allow connecting at one time. So on and so forth.
Patch Up the Firmware with New Fixes
Just as your computer has an operating system, which tells it what to do in case of a command, similarly, your internet hardware runs on a set of rules that defines its security standards, known as the firmware. Router manufacturers have a practice of coming up with new software fixes and patches against new threats and attacks. These software fixes can make your router more efficient and cleanse its core performance from any bugs or bots.
That is why you should check for the latest firmware updates and make sure that your router has installed and emulated them against a wave of cyberattacks. Most of the router models automatically download and install the distributed updates in the background, and even give you alerts in case of dramatic changes. You can check for firmware fixes in the router’s settings or on the manufacturer’s site.
Network security is of the utmost priority in the present age. So, use the aforementioned tips to protect your home internet connection against malicious codes and hackers, and you’ll be much better for it.