Protecting your home network is much more than setting a password for Wi-Fi. In the family, someone watches your favorite programs on Smart TV, someone makes online purchases, someone plays online games on the console, and someone works remotely so different important data (personal documents, passwords, addresses, photos, etc.) are constantly accessing the Internet through your home network.
You have probably heard about such phenomena as “phishing” and “malware”, which are used by attackers to gain unauthorized access to the home network in order to steal personal information or destroy data, but do you know what it really is and how to fight it?
Home network security is the foundation upon which families are built to protect themselves against threats from attackers. In this article, we will try to highlight the basic concepts of home network security and how to improve it.
How to protect a router?
As a rule, a home network starts with a router and several devices connected to it. The router is responsible for transferring data between the home network and the Internet. Wi-Fi router may not be the brightest device if you compare it to a gaming console, Smart TV, or tablet, but it is definitely the most important when it comes to protection against external malicious attacks. You can make a number of changes that will help protect the router from hackers or malware:
Do not leave the Wi-Fi password and the default administrator password on the router; cybercriminals try to crack the devices using this data, which is publicly available. It would also be nice to change these passwords periodically.
Regularly update the firmware of the router
Being an integral code embedded in a network device, the router firmware sets a basic security standard for a home network, determining which devices can and cannot connect. To fix detected vulnerabilities, new firmware versions contain security patches and bug fixes. The best choice is a router with automatic updates; the main thing is to remember to enable this feature.
Create a guest network
Almost everyone comes to visit periodically, and it would be strange to deny guests access to Wi-Fi, but who knows what can penetrate the network through their devices? The best solution to this problem is to create a guest network (if the router, of course, has such a function).
The guest network is quite isolated from the main LAN, so guests will have access to the Internet and will not have access to your personal data. You can go even further and hide the name (SSID) of the home Wi-Fi network, allowing connection only for trusted devices and periodically checking the list of connected devices for an unknown device.
Disable WPS and UPnP functions
Some Wi-Fi routers have a Pair or WPS button that simplifies connection and allows you to add new devices to the network without entering a password. This, of course, is convenient, but due to vulnerabilities through this function you can get unauthorized access to your home network.
A similar feature is UPnP (Universal Plug and Play), designed to simplify the connection of devices such as routers and Smart TV, but some malicious programs use UPnP to gain access to your home network.
If you care about network security, it’s best not to use these features.