In today’s technological era the access to Wi-Fi has become a basic need either at home or at the workplace.
Undoubtedly, it has made our lives more comfortable, and also wireless access to internet seems to be a great blessing. However, accessing Wi-Fi can also invite cybercriminals to invade your online privacy.
Well! To your shock accessing vulnerable Wi-Fi connection (private and public both) can open doors for cybercriminals and there is an excellent chance of user getting hacked.
If your Wi-Fi is not adequately secured, then anyone who has a wireless-enabled device can gain access and might violate your privacy and can also share your information. This information can be your emails, financial information, bank details, credit card history, or even your daily schedule.
Despite such consequences, it is a sad reality that not many people give importance to the privacy and security of their routers. Recently, the Russian hackers have targeted various private and cooperate routers along with some other devices in the USA.
The US officials have warned the users to take care of their router’s security. The US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) has announced about the Russian hackers who are carrying out large numbers of attacks against the home routers in the USA.
So, worried about your router’s security?
Well! This article will focus on some fundamental and essential techniques which will surely help you in protecting your Wi-Fi devices from hackers and cybercriminals. Let’s have a look.
Examine the Admin Page of Your Router:
The router stores the entire set-up of your home Wi-Fi network. Therefore, if you want to make changes to improve your privacy and security level, then you first need to log into your router’s software. The router’s software is known as Firmware which you can easily find on the router’s admin page.
It is essential to check the router’s admin page because it includes password management to firmware updates, and also manages your router’s setting.
Once you have logged in the router’s software via a browser, you need to type your router’s IP address in the address field. Note that most of the routers use 192.168.1.1 as an address.
From this page, you can even change your network name, password, make a visitors network, and can make changes to some other options too.
It is important to note that there are new routers which already have default passwords. You should change the password during the setup stage. It is easy to create new, unique, and a bit complex password for Wi-Fi router.
Choose the Best Encryption:
It is essential to secure your Wi-Fi because doing so will surely save you from unwanted and undesirable connections. Hackers and cybercriminals are attracted to unprotected Wi-Fi networks. Thus, it is crucial to safeguard and secure your Wi-Fi network with strong encryption.
There are various kinds of Wi-Fi encryption available. The most used Wi-Fi protocol security nowadays is WPA2 encryption. But, this security protocol is being used for a quite long time. Moreover, it is also prone to some acute security susceptibilities.
If you are looking to buy a new router, then you must look for the one which supports WPA3 encryption. However, if you use an old router and it doesn’t support WPA3 encryption then you must go with WPA2 PSK AES encryption.
But, if you are using old Wi-Fi device, then you have to choose the hybrid option like ‘’WPA2-PSK AES + WPA-PSK TKIP’’ to make them work properly.
Keeping in mind the importance of your online privacy, you must never select an open network. It is because a public system is vulnerable and it will be easy for anyone to hack you by stealing your Wi-Fi connection.
Note that if the encryption options for your routers are only WEP and WPA, then you need to check your router for firmware update.
Arrange a Separate Network:
Another technique to secure your Wi-Fi is to set up a separate network for visitors devices. You can do this by enabling the router’s Guest Network option. This is a well-known feature for most of the routers.
Guest networks are basically for visitors who visit your home and needs an internet connection. However, you don’t want them to gain access to the devices and shared files within your network.
Setting up a separate network is beneficial in a way that it will protect your primary devices from special IoT attacks. To avoid any misunderstanding with your main network, you must create a visitor network with an entirely different network name and password. But do make sure that you create a stable and secure password for your guest network to avoid any violation.
Note that if you are using a new router, then it will automatically create a guest network. It enables the users to put the IoT appliances on a separate system. Thus, it protects your central computers and other devices from different attacks.
Use Open and Free Paternal Controls:
If you want to spy on your children’s internet activity and wants to stop them from accessing any improper websites, then you don’t have to worry much about it. It is because now many routers have built-in content filters and parental controls.
By enabling these filters, you can keep watchful eyes on your children’s activity and can also make sure that they don’t conduct any activity which might invite hackers to perform cyber-attacks.
To enable these filters, you must visit your router’s admin page and search for the section which says ‘’Access Control’’ or ‘’Parental Controls’’. From this option, you can select the kind of website you want to disable the access. You need to set the schedule when the filters are in effect and must also set the curfew hours for particular gadgets.
A good thing about this technique is that you can set filters for specific IP and MAC addresses moreover, you will be provided with a map of all your connected devices along with their corresponding IPs. But, this method requires a lot of technical skills and thus is a bit challenging to start.
Switch On and Examine the Firewall:
Firewall is yet another protective tool which can shield your router from cyber-criminals. In case if hackers get to know about your router’s IP address and location, then the firewall will keep them away from accessing your network and system.
Most of the new routers have built-in firewall protection. It is possible that they can be characterized somehow in a different way, but you must look for features under the routers advanced settings — for example, port forwarding, port filtering, NAT filtering, services blocking.
Within these settings, you can change and identify your networks inward and outward data ports and can also protect them from hacker’s invasion.
It is recommended to be vigilant while changing your ports settings. An incorrect port setting may make your router vulnerable to various port scanners providing hackers a chance to violate your privacy.
Use a VPN Service:
Using a VPN service is an effective way of protecting your online privacy. When you are using a VPN, your real IP address becomes hidden and is replaced with the one provided by your VPN server.
Also, VPN encrypts your entire internet traffic making it extremely impossible for anyone even with your ISP to view your online activity. While using a VPN, you can hide your web traffic from all kinds of snooping eyes.
The VPN services are accessed through the software. However, many new routers can configure with VPN capabilities directly into the router. Your router will be able to secure and protect every single device connected to it.
Routers with this ability usually have open source router support software like the DD-WRT, and they can easily be altered by using a VPN service.
The increasing attacks of hackers is an alarming situation. It is now a crucial task to take care of routers safety and security. Router’s security is essential.
Discussed above are different ways by which you can secure your router’s security. You must follow any one of the above-described ways to safeguard your routers and can avoid hackers from targeting you.