Why is it that people often neglect the security of their personal Wi-Fi? Think about it. You wouldn’t think about going away from home and leaving your doors unlocked, making all your personal possessions available to snoops or thieves. You have locks on your car to prevent unauthorized access. Why would you treat your home Wi-Fi any differently? Staying safe with your personal Wi-Fi is every bit as important as the other routine security measures you take on a daily basis.
It is of concern that many people are not properly securing their home Wi-Fi. This can make a person vulnerable to many types of cyber threats. Here is a look at some measures you might want to take that will give you greater peace of mind.
The Reasons Your Wi-Fi Needs to Stay Secure
There are several reasons that you need to keep your personal Wi-Fi locked down. One of the main reasons is the possibility of someone piggybacking on your connection. This is when someone connects to your unsecured Wi-Fi without your permission.
Piggybacking is a big problem because it can drain your data. You may have a limited amount of data to use before your speed is throttled by your ISP. Someone streaming media or downloading applications, photos, or other things can use up data in a hurry. If someone is using your Wi-Fi without your knowledge you won’t know your data has been exceeded until you get slowed down.
Another problem is that piggybacking can slow down your normal Internet speed. Your bandwidth is reduced when more people are using the Wi-Fi connection. Of course, a problem that no one wants to think about is someone stealing your Wi-Fi to do something illegal. Just try telling the authorities that it wasn’t you or you didn’t know anything about it.
There is also the possibility that an unsecured Wi-Fi could lead to attacks by hackers. The traffic on your network can easily be scanned, and packets can be “sniffed” to obtain sensitive information. It might even be possible for someone to gain access to your router through an unsecured personal network. The bottom line is that you don’t want any of these scenarios to happen to you.
What Can You Do to Secure Your Personal Network?
Don’t get too depressed over all of this. Not everything is bad news. There are several measures you can take to improve the security of your personal Wi-Fi.
A good starting point is to change your password. You should do this on a regular schedule. For some people about every six months works well, but do it as often as you need to in order to feel safe. Don’t use a password that you use for other services. The more complex your password is the better it works. Write it down so that you will have a backup.
You can also turn off the SSID broadcasting for your network. This means that someone would need to know the name of the network in order to find it. You’ll also have to enter in the name of the network manually to connect, but that is a small price to pay for more safety.
Filtering your Mac addresses and changing all the default settings on your router can also be helpful. You might even want to consider using a VPN on your router. That will come with some tradeoffs but the action might be worth it if you have a lot of people in the home that are using your Wi-Fi. A VPN on the router will help to secure all devices that are connected to the router.
Using A VPN for Security at Home
Although this strays a little from the original topic at hand, we should remind you that using a VPN at home is always a good idea. It won’t necessarily protect your home Wi-Fi like some of the other measures that we described, but it will protect you. You can also use that same VPN when you are traveling to evade geographical restrictions.