As we are living in an era that is gradually becoming tech-dependent, it is quite common to see different gadgets getting connected and managed with the internet every now and then.
From smartphones to smart homes, the internet has made almost every day-to-day gadget we make use of in our daily lives.
This technology trend has made our life so much dependent that it has become important to keep your home internet safe, especially if you are using it to carry out a financial transaction or share personal information.
In this guide, you will be provided several tips that can help you secure your home internet against unauthorized access. If you also wish to keep your home internet safe, you can go through the information provided below.
Here are 15 Tips to Keep your Home Internet Safe
- Do not use the Default Name of your Wi-Fi
The first step you need to consider in order to make your home Wi-Fi safe is to change your network’s SSID (service set identifier).
SSID is basically the name of the network. Most of the manufacturers assign their wireless routers a default SSID and when a wireless connection-enabled computer searches for and shows the wireless networks available nearby, it displays each network that would be broadcasting publicly its SSID.
This allows hackers a way to break into your network.
Therefore, it is always suggested to change the SSID of your network as soon as you install the connection at your home.
You can change the SSID to anything which does not reveal any personal information, discouraging hackers to intrude into your internet network.
- Turn OFF the Network When Not at Home
In case you are going out of your home on vacation or for several days, it is highly recommended to disable your wireless home network in order to secure your network.
You should do the same thing not only with your Wi-Fi network but also with all your devices that are connected through Ethernet cables when you won’t be at home.
Keeping your network turned OFF when going out of home helps you avoid any possibility of hackers intruding on your network and getting access to your personal information.
- Always Use a Strong and Unique Password
Generally, your wireless router comes with a default password. These default passwords are very easy to guess by hackers, especially when they know the manufacturer of the router.
So, it is always recommended to use a password for your network which is not only strong but unique as well. When creating a password for your wireless network, make sure to make it at least 12 to 20 characters long.
Also, make sure to use a combination of numbers, letters, and various symbols. This type of password will be difficult for hackers to crack, thus safeguarding your home internet network.
- Make Sure to Enable Network Encryption
Most of the wireless routers come with an encryption feature, however, by default, it is turned OFF. Turning the encryption ON for your wireless router will help secure your network.
Therefore, it is recommended to turn it ON immediately after your broadband provider installs the router. Out of the different types of encryption available, “WPA2” is considered the most recent and effective.
- Disable Broadcasting of your Network Name
It is strongly recommended to disable network name broadcasting of your home network to the general public. This feature is mostly used for businesses, libraries, hotels, and restaurants that wish to allow their customers to have access to wireless Internet, however, it is usually unnecessary for a private wireless network to keep their network name broadcasted.
So, make sure to disable your network name as soon as you get an internet connection established at your place. If you ever wish to allow someone to join your network, you can enable the feature back.
- Always Keep your Router Updated
Sometimes the firmware settings of the router have some flaws that can make your network vulnerable to online threats.
As Manufacturers are known to clear such flaws and enhance security by providing firmware releases from time to time, make sure to keep your router up-to-date with the latest firmware.
Always install the latest software for your router from the manufacturer’s website to avoid corrupt or incomplete installation.
Make sure to check for updates regularly to keep your home internet safe against different online threats.
- Change the Default IP Address on your Wireless Router
Another way to keep your home internet safe is by changing the default IP address on your Wireless router. In order to change the IP address of your router, you will need to follow the steps provided below.
- Start by signing in to the console of your router as an administrator. Generally, the address bar looks like this – http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.0.1
- Once you are on this page, you will need to enter your username and password in the provided field on the login page.
- Next, you will need to select Network > LAN located in the menu of the left-hand side.
- Then, you will be able to change the IP address to your preference.
- Once you have changed the IP address, you will need to click on the Save button to save the changes.
- Once you would have changed the IP address, you’ll need to enter the new IP address into the web browser bar.
- If you want you can also change the DNS server that your Wireless router is using to filter the Internet traffic.
- Check the Location of your Router in Home
You may not consider this suggestion as a proper solution to keep your home internet safe; however, it does help in more than one way.
Well, in this workaround, it is suggested to check the location of the router and keep it as close as possible to the center of your house.
This way, you will not only be able to provide equal access to the internet to all the rooms of your house but also it will help in keeping the range of your Wi-Fi network within your home and prevent its range from getting in access to hackers.
Therefore, it is suggested to place your router in the center of your home.
- Always Ensure that you have a Reliable Firewall Security
A “firewall” feature is provided in order to protect your internet-connected device from possible intrusions. Generally, wireless routers include built-in firewalls, however, sometimes they are shipped with the firewall turned off.
So, it is suggested to make sure that the firewall feature for your wireless router is turned on.
In case your router didn’t come with a firewall, make sure to install a reliable firewall solution on your system to keep malicious access attempts and viruses in check.
- Make Use of VPNs to Access your Network
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is basically a group of computers or networks working together over the Internet. Individuals can use VPNs, such as Norton Secure VPN as a tool to secure and encrypt their communications.
When you connect to a VPN, a VPN client gets opened on your computer and at the time of entering your login credentials, your computer exchanges keys with another server.
Once both computers verify each other as authentic, your Internet communication gets encrypted and secured against possible hacking and intrusions.
Moreover, you must check what devices connect to your home network and ensure that they have reliable security software installed against viruses and spyware.
- Disable the DHCP Functionality on your Router
In order to enhance the wireless network security, you must disable the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server in your router as this is what IP address is designated to each device on a network.
Instead of it, it is suggested to make use of a static address and enter your network settings.
This implies that it is best if you enter into your device and assign it an IP address suitable for your router.
- Make sure to Disable Remote Access
While most of the routers allow you to access the interface only from a connected device, which is even recommended, however, there are some routers that allow access to a person even from remote systems as well.
If you have such a router that allows access even from remote systems, it is suggested that you turn off the remote access feature in your router.
Once you will turn off the remote access feature in your router, no one will be able to access the privacy settings of your router from a device not connected to your wireless network.
In order to make this change, you will need to access the web interface and search for “Remote access” or “Remote Administration”.
- Keep a Separate Network for Guests
Well, you can’t say No to your guests if they ask for the password of your Wi-Fi and that is the reason modern routers come with a feature that allows you to create a separate network for accessing your internet.
This feature allows you not to disappoint guests and other visitors from accessing the internet of your home, and ensure that they don’t get access to your family’s internal network.
This not only helps from the security point of view but also helps you avoid viruses and trojans present on the guests’ device from affecting your internet network.
If your router is capable of running two Wi-Fi networks at once, you can name one of the networks as “Guests”. However, make sure to keep it also secure with a strong and unique password and change it frequently.
- Filter MAC Addresses
No matter if you are using a laptop or a Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phone, all devices come with a unique MAC address. This MAC address is just like a computer connected to the internet has a unique IP address.
For enhanced protection, you can add the MAC address of all your devices to your wireless router’s settings so that only a particular device connects to your Wi-Fi network.
To enable MAC address filtering:
- First, make a list of all your hardware devices that you wish to connect to your wireless network.
- Next, you will need to find their MAC address and add them to the MAC address filtering in the administrative settings of your router.
- You can find the MAC address of your computer by opening Command Prompt and typing “ipconfig /all”. This will show your MAC address next to “Physical Address.”
- Similarly, you can find the MAC addresses of your wireless mobile phones and other portable devices under their network settings.
- Make Sure the Security of Your Device Connected to your Home Network
All the above-mentioned workarounds to safeguard your home internet network are useless if the devices connected to them are not secured properly.
This means that if you are considering all the above-mentioned precautions to protect your home network but the device you are using are vulnerable to online threats, there is no way you can consider your private information and data on the connected device to be protected.
You must keep in check the security of your device which is connected to the internet in order to prevent yourself from a cybercrime victim. For his, it is suggested to follow the below-mentioned practices:
- Make sure to keep your devices up-to-date with the most recent software available for your device.
- Secure your device with a reliable security application to avoid viruses and malicious files from infecting your device.
- Always apply the latest security patches available for your device to ensure no possibility of intrusion is left out.
- Use additional security features such as Account key, two-step verification, two-factor authentication, etc. for optimum security.
- Avoid opening suspicious files and folders in a pen drive, disc, or phone connected to your computer. Also, do not open suspicious emails you receive in your email account.
- Do not visit non-secure websites or provide your login credentials on these websites.
So, these are the different workarounds that you can follow to keep your home internet safe.