Advances in technology have allowed many people around the world the opportunity to work from a remote setting. Many users are now capable of accomplishing work-based tasks from an office in their own home. This has made it crucial for individuals to secure their home Wi-Fi networks and personal devices. Hackers that gain access to home networks are capable of infecting all personal devices with malware and viruses, perform various cyber-related crimes from the compromised network, or launch Distributed Denial of Services (DDOS) attacks.
There are three primary steps all users should take to ensure all connected devices and the WiFi network are secured.
Ensure the default network username and password are changed
The first step in protecting a home network is to change the default username and password. This is the foundation of a strong home-based security plan. Wi-Fi network providers assign automatic username and passwords that hackers can easily obtain by browsing the internet. Hackers that obtain these passwords can hijack the network, establish a new password to disconnect users from the network, and cause significant damage.
Once users establish a new Wi-Fi network, they should look to change the default credentials to something personal and secure. Network passwords should be something easy to remember but difficult to guess. Strong passwords consist of letters, numbers, and symbols. More personalized passwords are less likely to be compromised by brute force attacks.
Encrypt the wireless connection
Encrypting a home network ensures that data or the contents of messages are unable to be deciphered by cybercriminals. Users should ensure their home network is utilizing WPA2, the most secure form of encryption. WPA2 scrambles network traffic, making it nearly impossible for hackers to trace. Any device that isn’t compatible with WPA2 likely predates many necessary security features and should be updated immediately.
Hide the network from public view
Newly-established home networks have a default network name that is publicly visible. This network name is called a SSID (Service Set Identifier). Users should change their default network to make it more challenging for hackers to predict what type of router is being used. Users can also use SSID hiding to make the network name disappear from a list of networks in the surrounding area. Controlling who can see the network is one of the strongest steps in protecting a home network.
With more employees opting to work from home, users must be diligent to secure their home networks. Hackers that gain access to home networks are capable of infecting all personal devices with malware and viruses, perform various cyber-related crimes from the compromised network, or launch Distributed Denial of Services (DDOS) attacks. Users should follow three primary steps to ensure their network and connected devices are secure. These include changing the network username and password, encrypting the wireless connection, and hiding the network from public view.
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