How to Enhance Wi-Fi Security at Home
By Nick Anderson 5 minutes
When we talk about wireless security, we refer to the tools and practices that work together to form a secure environment. The term wireless encompasses several modern devices, but the one we are about to discuss Wi-Fi Security at home.
Wi-Fi routers may seem like small boxes with lights on, but they offer a gateway to the internet. It’s made to ensure seamless compatibility with your device and the billions of devices online.
Users generally do not pay attention to the security of their Wi-Fi device or the Wi-Fi connection that’s incumbent for a safe browsing experience. That’s what we are here to discuss.
The Dangers of Weak Wi-Fi Security
Wi-Fi describes a wireless technology that allows us to connect to high-speed internet. It is the most prevalent wireless technology that’s used to serve the internet over the air to users around the world.
Wireless signals are vulnerable to hacks. Someone with the right equipment can sniff data packets flowing in the air if security between you and the wireless router, also called an access point, is unsecure.
At home, someone in the vicinity can potentially hack your router by knowing just your Service Set Identifier (SSID). The SSID is the digital identity that you broadcast to devices nearby so that they may request for a connection. SSID comes default by the manufacturer and typically follows the name of the manufacturer, followed the router’s model number.
It’s important to change the SSID to hide the manufacturer and the model number because a hacker nearby can determine that information to better understand the vulnerabilities that may exist in the router.
Public Wi-Fi Hotspots are Unsecure
We all love to enjoy free access at a coffee shop or the airport while we wait for our flight. An overwhelming majority of the people don’t know the dangers of connecting to such public wireless hotspots.
They are vulnerable to attacks due to the lack of adequate security. Man-in-the-Middle is a type of notorious attack where the attacker can intercept communication between your device and the Wi-Fi access point. If the transmission is unencrypted, then it can see sensitive data such as your personal information. It can also target you with malicious websites or steal your session cookie in a Session Hijacking attempt.
Man-in-the-Middle is also known as an Evil Twin attack. That’s because the attacker impersonates a real access point nearby and tricks you into connecting to it. Imagine you’re in a mall and see an access point that describes it as an open Wi-Fi for visitors. You connect to it and successfully begin communicating.
But to your elusion, the attacker has impersonated the SSID of the access point and is now acting as a man in the middle. Everything you send over the internet will be relayed to the real access point through the fake access point. The attacker can see everything; the websites you visit, your personal information, and passwords.
It is why you must always connect to a public Wi-Fi with a VPN for reasons we’ll explain below.
The Best Practices to Enhance Wi-Fi Security
Wireless security is not something that requires strong technical knowledge. Even something as simple as a strong password can enhance security by ten folds.
To start, you should always change the password of your router from its default setting. The default password will make it easier for the attacker to guess the credentials. It is advised that you type a strong password that includes uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. The combination will introduce a password strength that will be tough to break.
Secondly, you should immediately change the default SSID of the router on initialization. Pick something like “Home Wi-Fi” instead of “Home Wi-Fi TP-Link” that gives away the manufacturer.
Once both of them are out of the way, you need to enable WPA2 protection in the router. It will prevent new devices from joining without the password.
If you are on the move, then take FastestVPN with you. VPN encrypts your internet communication, and FastestVPN utilizes military-grade AES 256-bit encryption for the best defense against third-party intrusion.
We all love free Wi-Fi, so if you see an open Wi-Fi access point while sitting at home, don’t connect to it. Not only is it unethical, but it might be a trap.
Also, keep your router’s firmware updated. Routers generally sit on shelves for months, and even years before someone picks it up. An old firmware may have some vulnerabilities that were addressed in the new firmware. So, keep the router up-to-date to patch any vulnerabilities.
VPN is not just a tool to enhance your web browsing experience; it’s a tool for communicating securely over the internet while hiding online activities. FastestVPN secures your connection with encryption that’s impossible to break. Should you venture out the home and find yourself in a public place with an open Wi-Fi, always ensure to connect with a VPN.