I would like to discus quick few tips which might protect your privacy and keep your home network safe.
Secure your Wireless router/modem:
Its a common practice that when our service provider sends us home router, We just follow instructions given by the service provider and connect to modem.
Though service providers are now trying to keep everything secure but due to the volume of the customers, they have to create set of instructions which sent to every customer. So most probably default configuration will be similar for every customer.
Home router physically is in the house but there is no control over RF propagation. So if Wi-Fi is not secure enough it is very easy for anyone from outside in the street sitting in the car connecting to your home Wi-Fi and get access to your home network. You can follow some very basic steps which does not need big deal of skills set.
- Change default router/modems name
- change default SSID and password
Hackers normally look for clues to get more information about the network they want to attack. Its very important that you make life difficult for anyone who is trying to get information about your network. Change default SSID (Wireless network name) and password and also default username and password of the router/modem to login.
I have witness again and again in houses and small shops where you connect to a open WiFi network and type in modem’s IP address in the browser. Modem will show web GUI to login and by using default username and passwords such as admin/admin you can login to the modem. So basically you are in fully control of that house or business network. I would say its necessary to change any default configuration which might give access to the network.
- Strong Passwords
Always use long and strong passwords as you would choose for your online banking etc. Stronger the password longer it will take to break the password which might put off the people who want any easy access and steal information.
- Security encryption option
Always use best security encryption available on your router/modem. Routers or modems always has few options such WEP, WPA, WPA2 and TKIP. WPA2 is the best option out of these given options and soon routers will come with WPA3.
WEP, WPA and TKIP are not considered to be secure option anymore because they are easily hack-able.
Routers which already deployed and has not been updated must have WPA2 option which is the best option available out of other options discussed above.
- Disable Guest option
Disable any unnecessary wireless network which is not needed. if you to give access to your friends but not the same password as yours then create a very strong password for the guests as well.
- Social media Personal information given-away
As we discussed above hackers looking for clues and information to build a picture and try to hack into a network. information shared on the social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc gives away very important and sensitive information about yourself to the internet. Information such as first name, last name, phone numbers, siblings, parents, home address etc is all personal information which is also associated with your bank accounts.
This information gives away almost every piece of information about you which might be enough for anyone with the computer and bit of skill set to carry out attack. So its very important to limit the information you share on the internet to protect your identity and privacy.