- Changing the name and password of your Wi-Fi is crucial for security, as default settings and passwords make it easier for hackers to gain access to your personal information.
- Improving the Wi-Fi encryption to WPA3 or WPA2 is recommended to enhance security and protect against hacking.
- Keeping your router up to date with the latest firmware versions helps to prevent bugs and vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
- Hiding the Wi-Fi name broadcast makes your network invisible to nearby users, adding an extra layer of security.
- Using a VPN software or browser extension can further secure your device and protect your information while using Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi is a convenience that helps us connect to the internet without having to use an Ethernet cable. With all possibilities of the internet, we often share personal data, banking information and even make online purchases.
Wi-Fi can also be a way for others to access our devices and tap into our personal and private information. That’s why we need to do everything in our power to secure the Wi-Fi network so that it’s not an easy target for hackers who could potentially gain access to our data. In this article, we’ll break down the 4 steps that will take you through securing your Wi-Fi network.
How to Secure Wi-Fi in 4 Steps
The Wi-Fi connection features default settings, and there are a few changes you can make to your router and Wi-Fi to improve its security. There’s also a way to protect your connection directly from your device, which you’ll learn more about below.
Step 1: Changing the Name and Password
The first and probably most important action to secure your Wi-Fi is to change its name and password. Every Wi-Fi comes with a default name set by the manufacturer, which often represents the router model and makes. This makes it a bit easier for hackers to find a Wi-Fi to exploit. If they know the router model, they can target weaker routers on purpose to gain easier access to information.
Also, it’s very important to change the password because most Wi-Fi password-cracking tools have a database of default passwords. Your Wi-Fi will be easier to crack if your router still uses the default password.
To change your Wi-Fi name and password, you should find the router’s address and credentials on the back of your router. Type the router’s IP address into your browser and enter the credentials to access the router’s interface.
In the router’s settings, look for the Wi-Fi settings tab. Every router is different, but the process is the same and the settings should be fairly easy to find. Find the Wi-Fi section and check the available settings. You should see the Wi-Fi name, password, security, and other available information and settings.
Change the name in the name tab and enter a different password in the password tab. When you’re ready, click the apply button. The router may reboot before you see a different Wi-Fi name and you’ll need to reconnect all your devices to your Wi-Fi network with the new Wi-Fi password.
Step 2: Improving the Wi-Fi Encryption
Each Wi-Fi access point protected by a password has a type of encryption. There are four types of encryption:
WEP is the weakest encryption type and is often attacked by hackers. Since it was one of the first encryptions ever, it’s not very common today. But if you have this encryption type for your Wi-Fi, it’s highly recommended you change it.
WPA stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access and it’s much better encryption than WEP. WPA2 has been the standard for some time and is still used by many routers today. WPA3 is the best Wi-Fi encryption, but it’s important to know that it’s not yet supported by all routers.
Therefore, we recommend setting your Wi-Fi encryption to WPA3 if it’s available. If not, the next best option would be the WPA2.
To do this, use the same router address and credentials as you did in the previous step (you can find them on the back of your router). When you’re logged into the router’s interface, you can look for the Wi-Fi settings tab. Every router is different, but you need to find the Wi-Fi settings in the router interface.
There you’ll see options such as the Wi-Fi name, password, and encryption, as well as the selected encryption. To change the encryption, click on the drop-down menu and select a different encryption type. After that, apply the settings and wait for the router to reboot before connecting again.
Step 3: Updating Your Router
Keeping your router up to date will keep hackers away as there will be fewer bugs and glitches for them to exploit in order to gain access to your Wi-Fi network.
To update your router, you need to use the router credentials which you can find on the back of your router. They should contain the address that you can enter into a browser, as well as the username and password for the router’s interface.
In the router’s dashboard, go to the Settings tab and look for the update, firmware update, or even factory reset settings. Since every router is different, the interface will look slightly different and the name of the setting may be different.
However, each router has an update option that you can use to check if your router is running the latest firmware version. When you find it, click the Update button to make the router check for an update. If there’s an update available, you can install it to ensure your router has the latest firmware version.
Step 4: Hiding the Wi-Fi Name Broadcast
This is one of the most underrated features that not many people know about but it gives you the ability to hide the transmission of your Wi-Fi name. This function hides your Wi-Fi network from the list of available Wi-Fi points on any device.
However, you can connect to your Wi-Fi network by manually entering the Wi-Fi name and password. This makes your network much more secure because it’s invisible to other nearby users and they won’t know about your Wi-Fi unless you tell them.
To hide the transmission of your Wi-Fi name, use your router information (address and credentials) found on the back of your router to log in to the router’s interface.
From there, go to the Wireless Settings (or Wi-Fi accessibility) and look for the SSID broadcast feature. Once you find it, set this function to Disabled. Click the Apply button and wait for the router to reboot before the feature is enabled. Don’t panic if you don’t see the Wi-Fi in your wireless list — you’ll be able to enter it manually.
How to Improve Your Connection to Your Wi-Fi Network
When you connect to a Wi-Fi connection with your device, another person who has access to your Wi-Fi can intercept all the data and information you send or receive over the internet connection.
By securing your Wi-Fi network, you make it harder for hackers to break into your network. If you further secure your device, even if hackers gain access to your Wi-Fi, they won’t be able to “read” your information while you browse the internet.
To further secure your device when you’re using the Wi-Fi, you should use software called VPN. VPN stands for virtual private network and it helps to play the “middleman” between your device and the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to.
This way, your information and data will remain encrypted and protected so that other Wi-Fi users can’t use the network to access your information. There is a variety of VPN software that you can download and install on your device, such as Proton VPN, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN. However, there are also extensions that you can install in browsers like Chrome, which you can find by googling “VPN.”
Although many people don’t know much about Wi-Fi and routers, it’s important to know how some Wi-Fi settings work and how the right setting can improve the security of your Wi-Fi.
Most of these settings are located on the same page of the router interface. While it’s a bit difficult to find them because every router has a different interface, it’ll only take you about 10 to 15 minutes to make these changes. However, taking time to do it will most likely put you away from hackers’ crosshairs.
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