The advent of the internet has simplified the way we work, communicate and how we do things nowadays. It has also brought new threats and attacks. Cybercriminals and other malicious actors are now more than ever after our data. And since we’ve become vigilant while online, malicious actors are following us everywhere, even in our home networks.
If you recently moved out or bought a new apartment, one of the first thing that you will consider is how you will get an internet connection. Simple, call an installer and wait quietly as they fix your internet connection. Since this time you’re on your own, here are some of the things you have to do or ask the installer to ensure your home network is safe.
Changing your home network/ router’s default credentials
Usually, after the setup, your installer or internet provider will generate the credentials for your network. In most cases, your username will be your apartment number and the password, you guessed it, your phone number. To make matters worse, your router may come with the default credentials which are freely available online.
If your neighborhood has malicious actors, you can fall victim of their cyber-attacks as they can gain access easily to your network. Also, they can use up your bandwidth for malicious activities, and you will have a hard time with the authorities. If you are not familiar with the router, ask the technicians how you can change the credentials. Once you know how to do it, use a unique, strong password to secure your home network and your router.
Updating router firmware
Routers are not just about hardware. They have some operating system that manages how communications are done, security, and your networks. Always ask the technicians to install the latest router firmware. If their router doesn’t support firmware update, you might as well get an upgradable router.
Updates provide security patches for vulnerabilities and the latest the firmware, the better your security. An obsolete router firmware can be a single central point of attack in your home network. And without knowing, a malicious actor can compromise any device connected to your router.
Be sure to ask your installer what security standards your router provides for Wi-Fi connections. They are usually three, WEP, WPA, and WPA2 with the latter being the strongest. WEP is the oldest and can be hacked easily by anyone with the right tools. Since routers vary in configurations, be sure to ask your installer where to set up these security settings as sometimes the manuals are hard to understand.
Setting up guest networks
Guest networks are essential as your guests won’t need to access your main networks. This is one of the best privacy and security practice since your main network can have sensitive files which you don’t want your guests to access. Guest networks also limit what guests can do when connected to your Wi-Fi. Ask your installer how to set up or if their router supports it.
VPN compatible router: IPBurger VPN
A VPN is the ultimate tool that ensures your security and privacy is not compromised when connected to the internet. Even your ISP won’t know what you are up to. A VPN does this by encrypting your internet traffic and tunnels it through secure servers before reaching the internet. These encryptions ensure your internet is unreadable and inaccessible by prying eyes. A VPN also unlocks various opportunities such as gaining access to geo-restricted content and even ensuring that your ISP is not throttling your bandwidth. Don’t forget to ask your installer if their router supports VPNs. If not, its time you got yourself a compatible router.