This blog addresses the best tricks to help you comprehend how to secure a home wireless network to keep IoT devices well-protected.
Home Wireless Network-Explained
A network formed via a router to connect multiple home devices is called a home wireless network. It is significant to have an internet access point with a router or cable to set up devices on a single network.
Why Is It Crucial to Protect Home Router
Most of us never realize the importance of router security. A wireless router is a gateway that provides full network access to all the connected devices. It means that if anyone can sneak into your Wi-Fi router, then he can easily access all your data and devices.
Furthermore, unwanted access to your devices will lead to data breaches. In severe cases, you may also fall victim to ransomware attacks. Besides ransomware and data breaches, you can also experience many other cyber threats.
Therefore, it is crucial to secure your home router to protect all the internet-connected devices.
Common Ways to Secure Connected Devices
One of the most common ways to protect connected devices is by creating a strong password. It keeps data safe from unwanted interference.
Setting up password protection is the right way, indeed, but it’s not enough. Imagine if a hacker cracked your password, then what would you do?
After cracking your home network password, a hacker can exploit your network using attacks like data theft, man-in-the-middle-attack, and network sniffing.
Wi-Fi networks are not as secure as you think about them. Home Wi-Fi networks are quite vulnerable. Particularly, the WPA2 protocol is quite vulnerable and impact all the Wi-Fi connected devices.
Other than the passwords, many people use multifactor authentication for network protection. Multifactor authentication is a process that involves two or more verification for network access. Multifactor authentication or 2FA is a great approach to keep your network secured. However, there are other authentic ways to defend your connected devices.
I will outline all the crucial ways through which you can create a fool-proof environment for your network. You must deploy all the strategies that I am going to list down in this article. It will create a safe environment for your home network.
What are the Most Vulnerable IoT Devices?
IoT devices are vulnerable and require complete protection. However, security cameras and home routers are the most vulnerable IoT devices and need robust protection.
Security cameras and routers are vulnerable because they have no default security. Therefore, these devices are open to malware attacks. Furthermore, these devices only rely on passwords, which can be cracked easily by hackers.
Steps to Enhance IoT Security at Home
I am assuming that you’ve got enough background about the home network and IoT devices. Also, you have an idea of why IoT devices are vulnerable to malware. Now, I am outlining a list of the steps that are essential for security.
- Rename your Home Wi-Fi
The first step towards securing home Wi-Fi is changing its service set identifier (SSID). In other words, you can say that SSID is your home network’s name. Usually, wireless routers come with an SSID by default.
Your SSID publicly appear on computers when any user searches for the nearby wireless networks.
Mostly, SSID comes with the name of the router’s manufacturer. It’s quite risky because any hacker can select your network for disruption.
It is suggested to change your network name to anything that doesn’t reveal anything personal so hackers can get no clue about the router or its company.
When they don’t get any information about your router’s company, it will be hard for them to design malware.
- Create a Strong Password
Just like the network name, routers also come with a default password. Hackers can easily crack the default password by using the default router name, and therefore, step one is critical. It will make your home router secured. Secondly, creating a strong password for your router is also important.
- Turn on Router Encryption
When you buy a network router, it comes with an encryption feature that is disabled by default. All you need to do is turn on your router’s encryption feature. Enabling encryption will make your network even protected. You have to turn on encryption when you start installing the home router.
- Hide your Network Name
If you’re using a wireless router, then the best thing to keep your home network safe is to disable your network name to be broadcasted publicly.
- Update Router Firmware
Using an older version of the software can make your router open to malware threats. Hence, it is essential to upgrade your router software and immediately fix all security patches to keep things under control.
Note: Software updates often release by the router manufacturers.
- Get a Robust Firewall Solution
Firewalls are designed to keep your system away from malware and other harmful threats. Wireless routers have built-in firewalls. However, sometimes your router firewall remains deactivated. Make sure to activate it, and in case if you don’t find any firewall in your router, then install a premium firewall solution to defend your network.
- Get VPN Protection
A virtual private network is a special technology that protects online traffic using a secure encrypted tunnel. When you connect to the VPN, it enables your traffic to access another server using a different computer. Your system verifies the other computer, and then the traffic gets routed safely with encryption. Installing a VPN on a router provides you network-wide protection and keeps all the connected devices secure and encrypted.
How Cybercriminals Disrupt Vulnerable Networks?
There are many ways through which cyber criminals exploit home networks. In 2018, a malware named VPNFilter surfaced. Reportedly, the VPNFilter malware infected a great number of routers in almost 50+countries.
According to several reports, this malware attacked devices connected to the router. Also, it disrupts the hardware responsible for communication between the internet and devices.
VPNFilter abolishes the router function and cracks the device’s password while blocking and collecting network traffic.
Another example of network disruption happened in 2016 when various devices got trapped by Mirai, a botnet dubbed.
The botnet, like Mirai, uses small devices to create a massive cyberattack. Mirai misused small devices’ processing power and launched a greater cyberattack that shut down all the major sites like Netflix, Paypal, and Spotify.
Similarly, cybercriminals and expert hackers may misuse your connected devices to capture the entire home network. Also, they can use IoT devices to launch a bigger cyberattack.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Wireless Router
Your Wireless router is the open gateway to your home network, and therefore, it requires many considerations. You must take major steps to verify that the wireless router which you’re buying is a safe bet.
To verify your router’s security, you need to consider the following factors. First things first, always keep a check on the router’s privacy policies that you’re buying.
If your provider records or sells data to third parties, then see for some other brand. Moreover, you should also understand that how is your provider offering software updates for the thing. Without knowing updates and resources, never buy a wireless router; otherwise, it will compromise your network security.
What Else Can I Do to Protect My Home Network?
There are more tips that you can follow to keep your home network safe. One simple thing you can do is turn off your router whenever you’re not using it or going anywhere out of the home.
Disabling your network has great security benefits since it closes all the doors for threats and malware.
You can also shift your router place and keep it in the center of the room. It will provide signals equally in the home, plus; outsiders will find it daunting to intercept network easily. In addition to this point, remember that you must avoid placing your router near a window or door since it will divert signals to the outside and hacker can easily target your router to exploit.
Furthermore, you can also change the network administrator password for added security. It will increase your Wi-Fi security.
You have to visit an online platform to access wireless router network settings and set up a strong password. Wi-Fi routers mostly have default administration credentials and passwords, which are easy to detect by hackers.
You can also change your router’s default IP address. It keeps your router safe, and no hacker can easily target your IoT security.
How to change Router’s Default IP Address
Follow these quick and easy steps to change your router’s default IP address:
- Type your router IP in the browser search bar
- Sign in router admin panel using default credentials
- Head to Set up
- Select Network Settings
- Enter new IP address next to the router settings
- Save settings, and that it.
There you have it! I hope you can now use all the outlined tricks to keep your smart devices secure and protected. Remember, a little negligence can destroy your network. Therefore, follow these guidelines to make your home network robust and well-protected.
Sundas Noor is a technical writer who loves to cover online security insights and create reviews for users to buy VPN software and IoT devices. She’s contributed five years of experience in technical writing and sharing security how-to guides with readers worldwide.