Guide to Secure Your Internet Connection
Updated on September 6, 2021 | by Alex Smith
We rely heavily on the internet to do most things. We shop, bank, and pay bills online. In turn, this reliance on the internet attracts malicious actors who want to hack into our internet connections and steal our data. Home networks have various wireless devices such as mobile phones, tablets, Smart TVs, IP cameras, and other connected appliances. Here are some ways to secure your websites and devices from hackers.
1. Encrypt Your Network
When you encrypt your network, you scramble any information to and from your network. This makes it hard for any prying eye to steal your personal information. You can encrypt your internet connection by updating your router settings to WPA2 or WPA3 Personal. WPA3 is the latest encryption, but the latter works as well. If you have an older router version with no WPA2 or WPA3 options, consider buying a new router. You can also use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) that encrypts all your data and hides your IP address, making it impossible for anyone to steal your data or tell your location.
2. Change Your Passwords
Your router comes with a preset password, which is easy for any hacker to guess. Change your router password to something more challenging for anyone to guess by mixing upper- and lower-case alphabets, numerals, and special symbols. You need to change two passwords on the router. The first one is the Wi-Fi Password, which is what you use for connecting devices to the network. A unique password prevents anyone from accessing your network. The other is the router admin password, which allows you to access the admin side of the router. With this password, you can change settings, and if a hacker logs in to your router’s admin side, they can change your network settings. For instructions on how to change the router admin password, check for the router manufacturer’s name. On your web browser, type “How to change your (indicate router manufacturer’s name) admin password.” If you run into any problems, contact the router manufacturer.
3. Use Antivirus and Firewalls
An antivirus is a significant part of your computer’s defense system. It works in the background to ensure that no virus infiltrates your PC. Use an antivirus to help boost the firewall and monitor any virus attempts in real-time. Most Mac users don’t understand the need to secure their Macs. No matter how secure you think it is, you can easily secure your mac via free antivirus or use the free Windows antivirus if using the Windows OS. Firewalls protect your computers and devices from any attempted intrusions. Wireless routers also have in-built firewalls, but most times, when you buy the router, the firewall is turned off. Ensure that you turn your wireless router’s firewall on. If your router does not have an inbuilt firewall, install a quality firewall to monitor any malicious attempts to access your network
4. Keep Your Router Software Up to Date
A router’s firmware might contain flaws that might end up becoming more extensive vulnerabilities if not fixed. These flaws are fixed via firmware security patches by the manufacturers. Always ensure you use the latest security patch to ensure no security gaps are left open for hackers to exploit.
5. Turn Off the WPS Setting
The Wi-Fi-protected setup or WPS is a function that allows a device like a mobile smartphone or a smart home gadget to pair with your internet connection. The WPS setting comes in handy when you have numerous intelligent machines, but it becomes a vulnerability that a hacker can use to hack into your network. Please search for the router WPS button and switch it off, only turning it on when you want to pair a device.
6. Set Up A Guest Network
Most routers allow you to set up a guest network with separate login credentials. This provides security in that the separate login ensures only family members have access to the main Wi-Fi password. It also means that if a guest inadvertently has malware on their device, it will not intrude into your primary admin account and family member devices.
7. Log Out as Admin
Once you set up your internet connection and have changed all settings, log out as admin. This means that if a hacker gains access to your router, they cannot get into your network without the password.
Your internet connection security is vital for protecting your devices from tablets, phones, smart TVs, and smart home devices. To prevent hackers from infiltrating your network, you need to take extra security measures. Install automatic updates, use best password practices, use firewalls, keep firmware up to date, and all the above tips to ensure you keep your network safe from malicious actors. Data is a valuable asset to hackers, so ensure you log out of your router as admin to make it harder for anyone to hack in and change your settings.