Your home network doesn’t deserve to be a security afterthought. When you set up your router, do these seven things to have the best security possible.
Don’t Use Defaults
Your router came with a default user ID and password. The reason manufactures use defaults is so you can set up your router and connect to the Internet for the first time. After you do this, you need to change your router’s default user ID and password immediately. Here are some tips on how to select a simple but effective password. Make sure the name you choose doesn’t give away any personal information, like your last name or address.
Change Your Password Regularly
Once every few months, change your WiFi password. Your WiFi network is the security between all the devices in your home and the broader world; if someone compromises your WiFi network, every device you own is at risk.
Place Your Router Central in Your Home
Your WiFi signal will be strongest if your router is placed centrally in your home in an open area. Walls and floors can inhibit WiFi strength, and things like microwaves can interfere with your WiFi’s signal. By placing your router as central as possible, in a place without too many walls, you’ll maximize your WiFi’s signal strength.
Use More Than One Network
When you or your kids have friends over, they’ll likely ask for the WiFi password. Allowing access is the friendly thing to do, but do you really want to so many people to have your WiFi password? This is why you should use more than one network. Set up a guest network and let friends connect that way.
Beware of Internet-of-Things
You probably have a lot of things that connect to your WiFi beyond phones and computers. Printers. Smartlocks. Thermostats. The list goes on and on. So make sure all of your devices have their software updated and passwords enabled. You may even consider another network exclusively for Internet-of-Things devices. Read our article on Internet-of-Things security for more.
Your router’s manufacturer will update your firmware form time to time. Make sure that you always install updates in a timely manner. Updates will improve your router’s performance, troubleshoot any issues, and help maintain your router’s security.
Make a List
Note every device you connect to your router, including all the Internet-of-Things devices. List all of your devices password, along with the router password. Use this list to ensure that updates are installed once a month or so. Make a note of when you last changed your passwords. Finally, make sure the contact information for your Internet service provider is included here.
The Bottom Line
Digital security is important, but clever email passwords and two-factor authentication will be all for naught if you’re home network is compromised. Given that your router’s security will affect the security of every other device in your home, it’s worth taking the time to ensure the best security possible.