What Can I Do to Keep My Home Wifi Network and Devices Safe?

Cyber security is a bigger and bigger concern as more of our lives become attached to technology. Stories about things like strangers hacking into baby monitors, accounts being stolen and more have been around for a while. However, it seems like recently there’s been more of an uptick in these sorts of incidents. While nothing is full-proof, there are a few things you can do to keep your home Wi-Fi a safe place. Here are a few suggestions.

Have a Strong Password

You are only as good as your password. Yes, hackers can run brute-force attacks which mean they can go through thousands of passwords in a short amount of time. However, if you have a very strong password, it can take them too long to crack it to make it worth their while. Everyone has a different idea of what makes a strong password. However, the basics are to have 10-14 characters. Don’t use pets names, kids names or important dates that people could easily find out (your birthday, your anniversary, etc.) Then use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and at least one special character. 

As a general rule, you should never-ever reuse passwords. That way, if you ever do get a password hacked, it’s only for one account. Hopefully, you can get it changed before too much damage is done. Specifically, when it comes to your Wi-Fi password, make sure the password is totally unique from any other password you use, and be careful who you give it to. Only let people you really know well use your master Wi-Fi account and password.

Create a Guest Network

If you need to have Wi-Fi available for visitors, set up a guest network and only let guests use it. Never give them the password to your master Wi-Fi account. Guest networks can be pretty easily added when you set up your modem. It means that people won’t have access to all of the devices you have on your master Wi-Fi account. If you ever do need to change the guest account password, that’s also much easier than having to change the Wi-Fi password on every device you use on your master account.

Switch the IP Address from the Default

This is one trick that not everyone might know. When you set up your router, it sometimes has a default IP address. It is a good idea to switch from the default one for security. While it’s not totally necessary, it can really make an impact on your network security. Nefarious individuals can spoof or backdoor off an IP address that they can figure out. Default IP addresses are much easier to get than you might think, so keep that in mind.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication can save you if someone manages to get your password for an important account. The way this works is if someone tries to log in with your password, the website will text or email you a code to enter. So, if someone is trying to get into your account, you’ll get a notification and be able to change your password quickly. The other person also won’t be able to log in without this code. So, it adds an extra layer of protection. 

As a note, if you have two-factor authentication set up and you forget your password, it can make it more difficult to reset. So, make sure if the account offers you one-time login authentication passcodes, you take them and keep them somewhere safe.

Monitor the Devices on Your Wi-Fi

Did you know that many internet providers offer apps you can download to your phone to see who’s on your network? You also might be able to log in from your computer to see who’s on it. Make sure you keep a close eye on this. If you see a device that you don’t know, take it off your network and change your Wi-Fi password to something much stronger.

As a side note, get to know the names of your regular devices so you don’t accidentally kick one of them off your Wi-Fi. Sometimes cameras, doorbells, smart thermostats, etc. have weird names. So, do some troubleshooting if you see a device you don’t know on your network. Account for all of the smart devices you have, and if one stops functioning when you take it off your network, it might be that smart device with a weird name.

Be Aware of What Devices You Use in Your Home

The simple truth is that anything connected to the internet can be hacked. So, think twice about what you connect to the internet. All of these things can be connected to the internet:

  • Smart TVs
  • Wi-Fi Baby Monitors 
  • Cameras
  • Doorbells
  • Alexas
  • Door locks
  • Garage door openers
  • Alarm systems
  • Thermostats
  • Tablets
  • Computers
  • Phones

Many other devices can be connected, and there will be more over the years as technology gets more advanced. So, keep in mind that if you don’t want something to be susceptible to being hacked, don’t use Wi-Fi-enabled or smart devices in those instances. For example, some people prefer to use baby monitors that don’t use Wi-Fi. That means those cameras will only be able to be monitored from your home, but it keeps them a bit more secure from hackers. 

While nothing is full-proof, following these rules when setting up your home or office network will help increase your security. If you’d like to work with a knowledgeable internet provider that is serious about security, give Utah Broadband a call today.