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In our day-to-day life, we have a best friend at home that is the Wi-Fi router because it gives you the Internet via LAN and as well as Wireless.

We must secure our router because it is the only gate towards the internet and as well as towards your internal network. We connect our personal devices and if somebody hacks into the private network then he can steal our personal and financial data.

The 2 major issues to secure your network are that who can access our network and the second is to limit the wireless signal.

Now, we will go on a tour where we learn “How to Secure our Home Network” from hackers.

Complicated SSID Password – Create & Remember

Everyone sets a simple password because they do not remember a strong and complicated password, but a strong/complicated password is very good for network security.

Generally, People use birth dates, year, name, pet name, mobile number, etc. for passwords but we do not recommend these passwords.

You also have to give your wi-fi password to your family, friends, and relatives and after that, you can’t control that chain, it means everybody will get to know about your wi-fi credentials and they can also guess your password if it is simple.

We recommend using a random password generator; you can use an online tool and software. There are many tools to generate a password as per your requirements. Wi-Fi password should be 12 to 20 characters long using uppercase, lowercase, number, and symbols.

The most important thing about a password is when you change your wi-fi password. There is not a recommended duration by any guidelines, but we recommend you change your Wi-Fi password monthly because unlike social accounts or banking sites we do not need to enter passwords every time at the time of login/connection.

When you initially connect your Wi-Fi SSID to your mobile, laptop, etc. then your device will get auto-connected always.

Wi-Fi Router’s Admin Credentials – Need to Change

Any person who is connected to the Wi-Fi network can access the Router’s console and then they can check or change any configuration related to the Wi-Fi Router.

Sometimes, we do not share the password with others, but we intentionally connect their devices to give them internet access and this will become a major loophole in security. This makes your network vulnerable to a hacker or maybe a smart friend.

All the Routers came with a default password for console/admin access, and anyone can access your network so, we need to change the console credentials also. This is the next major step in our security hardening.

Anyone can Google to check the default username and password for your manufacturer’s router and it will make your network vulnerable to the hacker. If someone gets your router’s console access, then they can change your admin password and lock you out. Without admin access, you cannot perform any security tasks on your router.

Wireless SSID (Network) Name – Need to Change

All the Wi-Fi routers come with the default wireless SSID (Service Set identifier), and this will make hackers happy if you do not change it. All the default SSID is configured with a default password and from that anyone can connect with your Wi-Fi router. It will also make your network vulnerable to hackers and people who all are getting your Wi-Fi network on their devices.

You should not include the below-mentioned points in your SSID network name:

– Do not include your name, address, and telephone number.
– Do not use any other personal information.
– Do not use any political statement, it may offend some people.
– Do not use offensive language.
– Do not challenge hackers and any other person.

Just create your SSID simple and tidy by using normal and common words.

Hide Your SSID (Network) Name: – Hidden Network

You also can hide your network by disabling the SSID broadcast feature. Yes, it is an imperative method to secure your home Wi-Fi network and we also recommend you use this feature. If you block your SSID broadcast then your home network becomes hidden for all, even for you as well but it does not mean that you cannot connect to your router.

As you see in the above image, we have a feature in our client devices to join the hidden network by entering all the details manually. We already cleared to you that if you connect your device with your router then it will automatically connect every time. So, do not worry about entering details manually, it is just for the first time only.

SSID Password Encryption – Strong & Latest

In this method, we are not discussing weak or strong passwords because there is a difference between a password and password encryption.

Password encryption makes a password unreadable using hash values and algorithms. There is a number of hacking tools to crack the weak encryption, but you can use the strong and latest encryption method to secure your SSID password.

There are commonly 3 types of password encryption used in-home Wi-Fi routers.

1. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
2. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and
3. Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA-2)

We recommend you use only the WPA-2 encryption method with a cipher version of AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). AES is the latest encryption method as compared to TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol).

Router Firmware – Keep Up to Date

As a device user, you already know that it is recommended to keep your device up to date. It is the same with the Wi-Fi router, you must check updates for your Wi-Fi router, and you can also enable scheduled/Automatically update from the Internet.

If you notice that your Wi-Fi router is not updated for a long time and still you are not getting any updates automatically then you should check the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) official website for the same.

Sometimes hackers discover the security weakness in the firmware, and it leads to the network security vulnerability and the same has been patched by the OEM in the next update. So, please keep up to date with your Wi-Fi router firmware.

Now we have an understanding of how to secure our home Wi-Fi network at a beginner level, what methods are useful and how hackers can get access to our private and crucial data using loopholes and outdated versions of our router.

 Then we saw 2 main features of the router: – how we can create strong passwords with the latest encryption to improve our security and all router OEMs give the main feature to hide the SSID (network name).

In the next blog, we will introduce advanced methods.

Zindagi Technologies offers you a strong and secure network with all the configurations handy or support. We offer you complete services from plan, design to implementation. Our tech team has a combined experience of more than 2 decades and be assured that they will not disappoint you at all. Our motive is to give the best possible service and satisfaction to our clients. We plan to do a good job and for that, we need your support. Please feel free to reach out to us or call us at +91 9773973971.

Author
Jagjeet Singh
Senior Network Security Consultant