How to secure your Wi-Fi

How to secure your Wi-Fi

 

Why?

When internet security – especially home network security – is mentioned, a lot of people react with understandable scepticism. “I have nothing to hide,” “I'm not a hacker,” and “I don’t care who sees.” But that would be a mistake. It is desirable to secure your home network, regardless of what kind of user you are. If you use online banking, a data box or just social networks, or if you have pictures of your kids, properties, invoices or bank statements on your computer, it is practically necessary to protect them. 

 

Home networks are fragile things…

If you simply connected your router after you bought it and you are now using it without any changes, you are putting yourself at great risk. Anyone can connect to it and use your identification data to commit crimes or directly rob or defraud you. Hackers are sophisticated and even a relatively complicated password can be cracked. 

 

SSID

Changing the SSID is definitely the first step to more secure home internet access. These initials stand for “set service identifier”, i.e. the identification code or name of your home network. The original name can give away dangerous information about your device (e.g. UPC42XXXX will reveal your provider and thus the possible model of your router), while a household name such as “Pavla and Miloš”, “Nováks” or “karlovonam25” needlessly reveals personal information. 

The best way out of this situation is thus to change the SSID to a random sequence of letters and numbers, or to completely hide the SSID – no one except authorised users will see it when they open the list of wireless networks on their telephone or computer. Consult directly with your provider on how to change your SSID, Wi-Fi password and other services.  

 

Password

Everyone knows that “1234”, “abcdefg” and “Pavlik1” are particularly useless passwords. Anyone who wants to crack or guess such passwords can do it in a matter of minutes. A proper password should have at least eight or, ideally, 16 characters, combining lower-case letters, upper-case letters, numbers and symbols. And it is particularly desirable not to repeat any of your passwords. In the case of Wi-Fi, the situation is simpler. Due to the fact that you will probably log on to the network only once with each device, it is not a problem to choose a truly challenging and uncrackable password. 

Encryption is equally important. Unless you have extremely old devices at home, avoid WEP encryption, which is the least secure standard still available. Preferably encrypt your network as WPA or, even better, as WPA2.