How to Protect Your Home Internet Network
Home & Business Internet Blog | MATE | 25 November 2022
From your laptop to your smartphone to your IoT gadgets, if you’re like most Aussies, there’s a good chance that you’ve got a fair few devices connected to your home’s wireless router. In this sense, your home Wi-Fi network is one of the most important things you need to protect in terms of home network security. After all, your home Wi-Fi is your single internet access point through which personal information can go out and malicious software can come in.
In light of this, it’s important to understand what steps you can take to best protect your home’s wireless network against any unauthorised access. In this blog post, we clue you in on some of the top methods you can use to secure your home network and keep your personal details safe.
Change the password and network name
These days, just about all wireless routers will come with a preset password which you have to enter in order to connect. As such, one of the best things you can do to protect your home Wi-Fi network is to change the default wireless network password and the SSID𑁋the network name𑁋that has been set by the router manufacturer or Internet Service Provider (ISP).
When changing your Wi-Fi password, be sure to use a phrase that is sufficiently long, along with a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. You should also consider changing the default password required to access the router settings themselves. This way, you’ll make it that much harder for anyone to tamper with your home network configuration.
Update your firmware
Firmware is the software that’s built into your router and helps it to function properly. Like any software, firmware can have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious third parties. Luckily, router manufacturers regularly release updates to the firmware that runs on their devices, often including security fixes that can better protect your network from unwanted intruders.
While some routers are built with an auto-update process, many will require you to do it manually. In this case, it’s usually just a matter of visiting the manufacturer’s website and downloading the firmware update file and installing it.
Set up a guest network
If you often have friends or family over and want to give them the ability to access your home Wi-Fi network, it’s a good idea to set up a separate ‘guest network’. This way, you can provide visitors with internet access without giving them full access to your home network which may contain shared folders, storage devices and other devices connected to your primary network.
Most routers will come with a guest network feature which can be easily enabled in the settings menu on your device.
Disable remote access
Many routers come with a feature known as ‘remote access’ which can be handy if you need to troubleshoot your home network or connect to it while you’re away from home. However, this feature can also leave your network open to attack if it’s not properly configured.
Unless you absolutely require administrator-level access to your router when you’re away from home, it’s best to disable the remote management feature in the settings menu on your router. This way, you can be sure that only people who are physically present in your home will be able to access your Wi-Fi network.
Turn on network encryption
One of the most important things you can do to protect your home network is to turn on encryption. These days, most routers come with a WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) encryption option, though this can often be turned off by default (in which case you can simply enable it by going into your router’s Wi-Fi settings). By encrypting your network traffic, you can make it much harder for anyone to snoop on the data that’s being sent and received by your devices.
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