Setting up a Wi-Fi network doesn’t involve much on your part. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) sends someone out to set up the equipment, tests to see if the network works, and then leaves you to your own devices (literally). That should be it, right?
Maybe not. See, while you may be done setting up your actual network, there are settings you need to tweak and personalize. These settings affect your connection strength, connection speeds, and various other things that affect the health of your network.
Settings people tend to neglect, however, are settings that revolve around security. For some reason, we neglect the security of our networks, not because we want to, but because we just don’t think about it.
Fortunately, there’s a multitude of ways you can protect your network, and late is better than never, so let’s stop beating around the bush and jump right into how to protect your network.
Enable a VPN on Your Network
If you don’t mind spending a bit more money on your network in exchange for security, then a VPN is just the thing for you. With a VPN, you won’t need to worry about any hacker or cybercriminal snooping on you or your data.
A VPN, a virtual private network, routes your data through a VPN proxy in order to keep the data encrypted and hidden from your ISP or anyone trying to intercept it. Not only does your data become encrypted, but your IP address is hidden too.
Overall, using a VPN is one of the best things you could do for your network, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Make Sure Your Firewall is Enabled
Most devices (such as Windows-enabled computers) come with the firewall enabled by default. However, there are dozens of settings available for tinkering, and it’s in your best interest to go through these settings.
The chances of you needing to go through your firewalls settings are slim, especially if it’s just a home network, but it doesn’t hurt to know what your network is and isn’t blocking.
Keep an Anti-Virus Scanner Handy
You might think to yourself, “How would an anti-virus scanner help me keep my network secure?” Allow me to tell you.
Without an anti-virus scanner, you risk infecting your network with what’s called a worm, which is designed to travel through your network and infect every device connected to the network.
Suffice to say, a worm can mess up your day. An anti-virus scanner reduces the risk of a worm infecting your network, however, so be sure to keep yours enabled.
Hide Your SSID
Options for protecting your router aren’t limited to the software you use; your router/modem/gateway/etc. contain a bunch of settings that can be accessed by logging into the device (typically your SSID and network password).
One of these options is to hide the SSID of your network. This allows you to, in a sense, hide your network from everyone who doesn’t know the name of your SSID. It won’t pop up on network searches, and the only way to connect to the network is if they know the original SSID.
However, keep in mind that some hackers may become more curious about hidden networks, so the advice of disabling your SSID is controversial. However, for most people, disabling an SSID probably won’t introduce any issue.
Whitelist Certain Devices
Lastly, it’s possible to whitelist only the devices you use that connect to the network. With whitelisting, you can disable network access to any device that’s a stranger to your network, while allowing already-connected devices to retain their permissions and connections.
This may make things a bit more complicated for people who come to visit your house and need to connect to your network, sure, but the safety of a secure network is worth more than a couple minutes of inconvenience.
With these five tips, you’ll be able to keep your network secure from any hacker, cybercriminal, or threat that crosses it. Best part? All of this can be done in an hour max.