You probably take steps to protect your home when you’re away, but what about when you are there? Criminals no longer need to be in your home to gain access to sensitive or personal information. Take these steps to add a layer of digital protection to your home and loved ones.
The day you had your internet installed you were probably so eager to get online, that you simply kept all the default settings and connected your devices. Don’t worry we have all done it, but by following a few simple steps you can make your home just that little bit safer.
#1 Make sure your Wi-Fi is WPA2
WPA2 stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access 2, in case you were wondering. Nowadays, this is the most common standard. However, it only takes 30 seconds to check and having it enabled means that it’s a bit harder to get into your network.
To check, on your computer open your Wi-Fi settings and click Properties. There you will see some basic information on your Wi-Fi settings, including your Security Type. It should state WPA2-Personal. If it doesn’t you will need to access your router’s admin page and change it.
#2 Change your default passwords
Most of us haven’t changed the default passwords on our routers or Wi-Fi. Some default passwords are well known or are hard to remember, so we end us writing them down. Take a few minutes to update both your router’s password and your Wi-Fi password. What’s the difference?
The password to your router is the one that allows you to change settings on your router. In many instances, the default is admin! So, it’s best practice to change it. Check the instructions provided with the router or your internet service provider on how to do this.
The password to your Wi-Fi is the one you use to connect devices to the Wi-Fi network. In many cases, it is provided on the device itself. To change it, you will need to log into the router.
Remember, passphrases often make the best passwords. They are easy to remember and hard to crack.
#3 Create a “friends & devices” network
Creating a separate network for smart, connected and IoT-based devices and for visitors can be another way of protecting your information. Keeping your smart home devices on a separate network makes it rather difficult to get to your computers from a compromised IoT device. Your additional Wi-Fi network will have its own password, limiting the number of people on your Wi-Fi and with access the network you use to conduct other sensitive information.
To create the second network you can either create it on your current routers – this can be done in through the router settings. Most routers that have guest network capabilities allow you to create two virtual networks. These two networks will behave as different networks, even though they effectively run on the same router. There are many guides online on how to do this depending on which router you have.
Protect your information and equipment, starting with your Wi-Fi.