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The pandemic may have forced you into working from home, or telecommuting might just be a useful option to save travel. Either way, the changing situation has led to rapid growth in attacks on home Wi-Fi networks. If you aren’t careful, someone could set up near your home and intercept your data. Follow these five steps, and your home Wi-Fi network will be a very hard target to crack.

Change the default SSID

Every wireless access point has an identifier, called an SSID. It’s not unique. The default installation gives it a name assigned by the manufacturer, and it could be the same as your neighbor’s device. Giving your wireless router a unique SSID keeps you from accidentally connecting to the wrong network.

Choose a name that you’ll remember, but not one that gives away identifying information about you. A favorite TV show, foreign place, or catchphrase is fine.

Change the default admin username

A wireless router comes with an account that lets you control its settings. The default setup has a username and password which anyone can look up on the Internet. Most installation procedures protect against carelessly making it public, but you should verify that the admin account doesn’t use the defaults.

Change the username from “admin” to something that isn’t obvious, and give the account a password which is hard to guess.

Use secure communication protocols exclusively

The current state of the art for secure Wi-Fi is WPA2. WPA3 is gradually displacing it, giving still better security, but it isn’t universally available yet. Use WPA2 or WPA3 exclusively for all your devices.

The no-password, public Wi-Fi protocol has absolutely no security. Simple devices let anyone intercept its communications or spoof the device. Never use it on your home router.

Select a strong access password

A WPA2 setup requires a password. Each device comes with a unique default password, but it will be nearly impossible to memorize. You can change it, but choose one that’s difficult to guess. A long phrase can be both memorable and secure; you can have one as long as 63 characters.

Someone who guesses your password can get inside your local network, so secure access is important.

Use your router’s firewall

Most Wi-Fi routers include a firewall capability. The usual setup keeps out most incoming traffic other than the few kinds that are commonly needed. Be sure the firewall is enabled. Customize its settings if you’re comfortable working with TCP and UDP ports and want to be sure you have enough security. Don’t give intruders unnecessary opportunities to probe your Wi-Fi devices over the Internet.

Make sure your Wi-Fi follows these five steps, and anyone who passes by looking for vulnerable systems will skip over you and look for an easier target. If you’re in need of a more advanced set up for you and your team members working remote, please contact the IT and Cybersecurity experts at VineIT. We ensure a seamless transition from office to home with advanced security so you never have to worry.