You may have had a smooth transition to working from home, and you now feel set up for months-long success from your couch. Not to spoil your accomplishment (good job!), but… no so fast. If you haven’t given much thought to securing your home network, you may be at risk for future data breaches and hacking incidents. Read on to learn a few tips to insure you’re protected from cyber intrusion.
You will eventually have to share your WiFi password with visitors and loved ones. However, you can make it difficult for intruders to have it. Although there are ways to look up a password that has already been set up in any computer’s operating system, not many people know about that utility. Creating a complicated password makes it harder for outsiders to guess it and breach into your system. We suggest you use a string of random characters or get the help of a password generator like LastPass.
One way you could go about this: enter your router’s IP address into your favorite web browser and log in with the default username and password. (The default username and password may be printed in a booklet that came in the box with the router, you may be able to find it in the support pages on the wifi manufacturer’s website, or it might even be displayed on the login screen for the router.) Next, go to settings and select Change Router Password, or similar option. Enter a new, difficult-to-guess password. Save the new settings. Voilà!
The console of a router should only be accessible from devices connected to the network. However, a standard router setting enables remote access, which means that you can access the console over the internet, from a different location. Unfortunately, if you can do that, so can anyone else, so turn off remote access. Chances are your WiFi router has a firewall on it, but you haven’t turned it on. Browse through the console settings to see if you can find it or visit the Customer Support pages of the router manufacturer’s website. In addition, routers usually have a hardware firewall. This works a little differently than the software variety that you probably installed on your computer. It’s worth turning on for extra protection.