How to secure your home Wi-Fi network?

Security is of utmost importance for the Wi-Fi networks. Few preventive measures can be very useful for securing home Wi-Fi networks.

1. Change administrative console credentials

A router is configured via an administrative console which requires a username and password to access. Change the default credentials provided to you as usually such credentials are well-known to masses.

2. Change default SSID

Name given to the network is called as SSID i.e. Service Set Identifier. Having default SSID does not impose security threat directly but it might imply that the network is poorly configured and is most likely to get attacked first. Also, disable SSID broadcasting. This feature is useful for Wi-Fi networks at public places so that mobile phones and other Wi-Fi enabled devices can recognize and log on to them. This is not required for home networks.

3. Set appropriate Security Type

Wi-Fi routers allow to set up security type via encryption protocols which can be one of – Open, Shared, WPA-Personal, WPA-Enterprise and 802.1x. Open is means no authentication at all. Shared uses WEP. WPA-Personal is the best option for home networks. WPA-Enterprise and 802.1x are advanced and good for enterprises.

4. Set appropriate Encryption Type

Encryption type depends on Security type. WEP and 802.1x is used for shared networks i.e. WEP. TKIP and AES are used for WPA networks. AES is preferred over TKIP as it is more secured. There is no encryption type for open networks.

5. Set strong passphrase

Use strong network security key; also known as passphrase. Also, keep on changing the passphrase regularly. Strong key means the one which is sufficiently long, alphanumeric, comprises of upper case and lower case and special characters. Even networks using WPA with weak password can be hacked easily.

6. Use a firewall

Many routers provide a feature of firewall which needs to be enabled in security settings. Firewall monitors the data traffic and avoids any malicious attacks.

7. Turn off the network when not in use

Networks which are always on, are more prone to the attacks as they give longer time to the hackers. Therefore, turn them off diligently when they are not in use.

Some advanced ways

There are some other ways like using a personal VPN, MAC filtering or giving static IPs. Aforementioned ones are the easiest and most basic steps for achieving necessary security.