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How to Secure Your Home Network ? Step-by-Step Guide to Safeguarding Your Connected Devices

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Secure Your Home Network
In today's digital world, the importance of securing your home network cannot be overstated. With the rapid increase in smart home devices and online activities, cyber threats have become more sophisticated and persistent. 

A home network refers to a group of devices, such as tablets, smartphones, printers, game console systems, computers, laptops, and wearable devices, that are connected to each other and to the internet. There are two ways of connecting a home network. A wireless network that connects multiple devices without using wires. And a wired network that is used for connecting scanners and printers. 

One of the important aspects of internet safety is having a secure home network. Vulnerable networks can be easily exploited by hackers. For instance, in carrying out identity theft, stealing confidential information, creating botnets, or installing malware and other types of viruses. The following is a step-by-step guide on how to secure your home network.

Choose a Strong Password 

Typically, wireless routers come with their own default passwords. Most likely, hackers can easily guess them, especially if they recognize the manufacturer of your router. Hence, it is important that you should change your password immediately to keep your home router secured. 

Generally, this can be done by opening the router’s management interface using your browser. Just enter the default IP address of your router which can be found on the set-up guide or on the bottom sticker. 

It is important that you should know how to create a strong password. A strong password means that it should have a length of 12 characters or even more. It should also include a combination of numbers, upper- and lower-case letters, and symbols. To ensure that you have a secure home network, it is recommended that you should change your password periodically, at least every six months.

Enable WPA2 Encryption and Disable WPS

Enabling WPA2 or WPA 3 encryption is essential in securing your Wi-Fi network. WPA2 or WPA3 is a stronger encryption protocol than its predecessor WEP, and it encrypts your Wi-Fi traffic to prevent eavesdropping and unauthorized access. To enable WPA2 or WPA3, login to your router's web interface and navigate to the wireless security settings.

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is a feature that simplifies the process of connecting devices to your network. However, it has known vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. Disable WPS in your router settings to reduce the risk of unauthorized access.

Use a VPN

VPNs or Virtual Private Networks can provide you with additional network security. Generally, they are used for obtaining privacy on the internet. VPNs are capable of encrypting your data so hackers or anyone can’t monitor your activities as well as your actual location. 

VPNs go through the router. So, even if the router’s encryption has been compromised, then you can still rely on the VPN’s encryption so hackers can’t read your data. If you are considering how to secure your Saudi Arabian IP address, then a VPN can greatly help. 

VPNs will change your IP address, making it seem like you are using a device from a different location. This means that hackers do not have any idea about your home address. VPNs can also be used on tablets, smartphones, laptops, and computers.

Secure Your Home Network

Change the Wi-Fi Name (SSID)

The most important thing to do to keep your home network secure is to change the default name of your home network. The name of your home network is also known as an SSID (Service Set Identifier). 

On your laptop or smartphone, you can open Wi-Fi networks and you will see a list of SSIDs. These SSIDs are revealed by routers so that they can be discovered by nearby devices. When choosing a name for your SSID, be sure that it is composed of up to 32 characters. 

Generally, the default name of your SSID is the name of the manufacturer along with a combination of letters and numbers. The following are some of the reasons why you should change your SSID name:

  • Hackers will likely stay away from routers with non-generic SSID names since they know that they are well-managed compared to those routers using default names.
  • If these cybercriminals recognized the manufacturer of your router, then they might know its vulnerabilities, hence, they can easily exploit them.
  • Avoid using your personal information, such as your name, phone number, address, etc., on your SSID name. It would be a great idea to use a dull name for your SSID or anything that will not attract the attention of hackers.
  • Hiding the SSID name of your router, will not show your router’s brand or model. 

Keep Your Software Up To Date

Your router is the gateway to your home network and is crucial in ensuring its security. Updating your router's firmware is crucial in protecting your home network. Firmware updates often contain security patches that fix vulnerabilities and bugs that can be exploited by hackers. 

To keep your home network safe, you should keep your software up to date, including your router firmware. Most often, hackers can easily exploit older firmware due to their vulnerabilities. For instance, MSI was recently attacked by ransomware. Some routers offer automatic updates, while others will require you to open the management interface to see if there are any firmware updates. Another alternative is to visit your manufacturer’s website and check if there are any available updates for your router’s model.

What triggers router manufacturers to create firmware updates is the latest news on virus attacks. This can motivate them to review their codes to make sure that their devices are not vulnerable to these new attacks. In case it is, they will release a security patch, therefore, it is important to stay updated.

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