Cybersecurity is one of the single most important concepts for most router manufacturers and network designers. Reshaping the way our networks can be both faster and far better protected will be among many ways the internet is overall adapted in the next few years, but you won't have to wait that long to keep your home Wi-Fi safe from hackers. It has become much easier for hackers to break into firewalls, disrupt security measures, and burglarize your home system, what with the debilitating WPS feature and the need for enabling your firewall after set-up, knowing how to adapt to these threats is just how you can avoid them.
There's a myriad of procedures and functionalities you can preform to make sure your Wi-Fi network is not only safe, but holistically secure from any type of threat, whether it be malware, hacking, or virus, you won't have anything to fear. Your router also has various presets and default settings that make you far more vulnerable to attack. By turning these off, or even upgrading your system, you can thwart attack and keep your various devices free from harm.
Norton Core Secure Wi-Fi Router by Symantec
One thing you could do, and this is just me spitballing here, but buying an upgraded router that's not only sophisticated, but literally designed by a cybersecurity firm is the obvious way to keep your home Wi-Fi safe from hackers.
Symantec's Core Router is probably the most protected router and one of the best of 2018 for not only swifter speeds, but even stronger firewall and firmware components. We're talking multi-layered protection backed by Norton Security and enhanced with the most comprehensive security measures. For $280, it's definitely worth at least looking into, and can be an easy to maintain a far more protected and sophisticated in-home network.
Turn off UPnP
UPnP, or otherwise known as universal plug and play, comes default on practically all modern routers, but it doesn't necessarily need to be used. This feature allows for other devices and programs, like smart TVs and gaming consoles, to accurately configure themselves onto the system by opening ports and self-operating port forwarding, all without the necessity for permission.
Turn this off immediately. While it may sound like a rather helpful and important component, one that relieves the stress of configuring every single in-home device to your network, but it's used by many malware and viruses in limiting your overall security. You also make sure that some of your in-home smart tech isn't interfering with your network capabilities, because oftentimes some devices can leave you open to attack.
Strong Pre-Shared Key
The pre-shared key is your password that is shared between all users on the Wi-Fi network. It can either be the same password for the router, or can be different (which, in order to keep your home Wi-Fi safe from hackers, wold be ideal). Security measures aren't every this easy, but if you have a large household with a multitude of users and devices, it can get really hectic, and with so much traffic, easier for hackers to break in.
Fortunately, if your pre-shared key is strong and longer than the default pre-sets, than you have nothing to worry about. Maintaining a myriad of entry keys, like the pre-shared key, is only half of the equation in keeping out hackers and is among the many cybersecurity predictions for 2018, the need for more password encryptions and key settings.
Updating your firmware can mean the difference keeping your network secure and leaving it open to attack. The moment you can you upgrade your firmware, or the router prompts for the need of an update, preform these immediately. Not only do updates make your network faster, they also provide deeper security measures for the firewall, WPA, and other components.
Unless otherwise mentioned, firmware updates prompted by your router more often than not are security upgrades and will either improve your overall security, or make the firewall much more difficult to break into. Router manufacturers use various updates, like the WPA2 upgrade in secure trafficking, to enable either faster internet speeds or to heighten the NAT's, or Network Address Translation's overall capacity.
Disable Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) & Remote Management
There a multitude of presets, or default network and router settings, that should be either changed or disabled in order to keep your home Wi-Fi safe from hackers. It's really simple, and doesn't take a computer whiz to figure them all out. The first is what's known as remote management, which is disabled in your admin settings. Unless you're actually using these settings, which is highly doubtful, get rid of them to limit the amount of ways hackers can break into your system.
Second, you need to disable the WPS, or Wi-Fi protected setup. This is one of the settings made by router manufacturers to ensure for an easy setup, but it also makes your initial 8-digit PIN far easier to crack, since it utilizes nearly 11,000 different combinations, which may sound like much but is nothing compared to what you can use for encrypted security measures.
Change SSID Network Names
It may sound pretty strange or a waste of time to update your SSID name, which is the literal name of your Wi-Fi, but regularly updating this monicker can ensure you’re free from the clutches or dangerous hackers. By changing your SSID, you’re making it harder for routine hackers to continuously chip away at your defenses.
With your Wi-Fi name on a consistent alteration, they won’t even know where to find you! Secondly, do not use your router name in the SSID, it’s the easiest way to leave your Wi-Fi a hacker’s paradise. Make the SSID network name longer than normal, that way you thwart hackers that use rainbow tables, which are tools that associates with common SSID names, and inevitably keep your home Wi-Fi safe from hackers.
Username and Password
If you think hackers can't break into your default password, then you've got another thing coming for you. Just like making your SSID name longer, so too should your passwords (and even your username). Don’t think this is a joke, hacking is made even easier when routers are left with either preset password encryptions, or simply don’t have a strong enough password key set.
This is the number one tool many people tend to ignore, despite it being the easiest form of protective functionality to keep your home Wi-Fi safe from hackers. Your password is the literal key into your system, leaving that too freely open or easily accessible, at all, is a sure fire way to make hacking easier and more frequent. Your username and password, as a whole, can be used against you if not properly secured.
WPA2 Wireless Encryption
It’s simple, the utilization of a Wi-Fi Protected Access is probably the only and most successful route in mitigating your in-home Wi-Fi network and system from being hacked. It’s an upgraded form of encryption similar to WEP, which if you’re using is outdated and should be tossed in the trash.
Preform a firmware upgrade immediately so that your system is protected from the outset, instead of waiting for something, or someone, to break in. WPA2 utilizes AES encryption, the most sophisticated internet security there is (the government uses it), so if you're still using WEP or something worse, you need to upgrade immediately in order to keep your home Wi-Fi safe from hackers.
Almost all routers (at least the ones that are good) will have a built-in-firewall within the system. This is just another way of protecting your system from malware threats and, if you want to keep your home Wi-Fi safe from hackers, you must enable this so your network is far less easier to see.
Most people believe that it's already enabled, but you have to turn it on after setting the router up, plus make sure you test it before you simply leave it on with no foolproof protection. This is one of the best ways to mitigate computer risks and infections. Some firewalls will even have what's considered a "stealth mode," which makes it even harder to hack and ensures you keep your home Wi-Fi safe from hackers.
Encrypted Personal VPN Service
A VPN is a virtual private network, which allows you (or, more accurately, your home Wi-Fi) to search through the web undetected, and on its own channel. Back in the day, only big time corporations and enterprises could use VPNs, but now they're a dime a dozen, and limit the need for top cyber security companies (though, you should still know them).
Utilizing a personal VPN is the best way to keep your home Wi-Fi safe from hackers. It keeps your location anonymous through the use of a proxied IP address, and will also act as a sort of firewall that protects your Wi-Fi network from traffic. In addition to the VPN Proxy Master, there's also HotspotShield VPN and various other applications on both the Android Market and App Store.
Disable "Admin Via Wireless"
Another way to keep your home Wi-Fi safe from hackers is by disabling the "admin via wireless" setting on your router. This makes it impossible for anyone outside of the network, or simply not connected to the ethernet, to access your admin features. If left on, this could cost you dearly and could even be a reason for slower internet speeds.
If, of course, you've made a point to keep your Wi-Fi extremely protected from encryption, than you there's far less to worry about, but leaving your admin open and alterable can make your home wireless system extremely vulnerable.