Here are ways to secure your wireless router:
- Change the name of your router: The default ID – called a service set identifier” (SSID) or “extended service set identifier” (ESSID ) – is assigned by the manufacturer. Change your router to a name that is unique to you and won’t be easily guessed by others.
- Change the preset password on your router: Leaving a default password unchanged makes it much easier for hackers to access your network. You should change it as soon as possible. A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!
- Review security options: When choosing your router’s level of security, opt for WPA2, if available, or WPA – these levels are more secure than the WEP option.
- Create a guest password: Some routers allow for guests to use networks via separate guest passwords. If you have many visitors to your home, it’s a good idea to set up a guest network.
- Firewalls help keep hackers from using your device to send out your personal information without your permission. While antivirus software scans incoming email and files, a firewall is like a guard, watching for attempts to access your system and blocking communications with sources you don’t permit. Your operating system and/or security software likely comes with a pre-installed firewall, but make sure you turn on these features. If you are using Windows 10, 8.1 or 7, these operating systems have a built in firewall.