With home becoming the new workplace, a strong, stable, and secure internet connection is another essential for the new-age workforce. Even though most of us carry smartphones that can also be converted into portable hotspots to access the internet via other devices, a Wi-Fi router is a must to make home your new office. It not only helps in getting a stable connection but also offers much better speeds when compared to mobile data.
However, a Wi-Fi router equally calls for constant maintenance and monitoring just like any other smart device – laptops/desktops, smartphones and a host of other devices that access the internet from your router.
Commenting on this, Rahul Shirgopikar, Senior Product Manager, Quick Heal Technologies Limited, said, "With home becoming the new workplace, a strong, stable, and secure Wi-Fi router has become another essential for the new-age workforce. However, the real question is, how safe is it? In line with this transition, employees must follow a few necessary steps to protect their home network infrastructure and systems against evolving threat actors. To begin with, always keep your Wi-Fi router updated."
He further added, "You can do this manually or directly buy a router that comes with an automatic update feature. Secondly, encrypt your router the moment you install it. Visit the official page and encrypt the device using WPA2, WEP, or WPA. Keep the firewall option always on. It serves as an additional security layer to the router. Use a VPN to ensure that your Wi-Fi address is undisclosed to hackers. Lastly, always use strong passwords and change them frequently, whenever possible."
So, if you can't maintain cyber hygiene with proper security measures in place, you can't protect your Wi-Fi router either. Here's a look at a few steps to secure the home router and keep hackers at bay:
As hackers continuously devise innovative techniques to execute attack strategies, it is essential to keep the router well updated – in fact, regularly. Users can do it manually by visiting the router's admin page and looking for the necessary updates. There is also an easy way out. You can buy a router that offers an automatic update feature. This way, you can stay ahead of the curve.
Most routers come equipped with this feature, but disabled. Therefore, you need to turn this feature on by going to the router's encryption settings. Do it the moment your router is installed. If you still haven't, do it right now. One of the most effective types of encryption is WPA2. Heard about it?
Simply put, it is an additional security layer between the home network and the internet to protect devices from unauthorized intrusions. The firewall comes as a built-in feature in today's modern routers, but most of the time, they are turned off while being shipped. Enable this feature while you set up your router. If you are using an old router, it may lack this feature. In that case, you can install one on your system.
A virtual private network is a group of systems that function together over the internet to either encrypt or secure the internet connection. Once activated, it routes your device's internet connection through a chosen VPN private server instead of your internet service provider. But how does it ensure safety? It makes sure that the data that you transmit to the prying world of the internet doesn't come from your system directly but from the VPN server - thus protecting it from threat actors.
Every router has two passwords: one for Router Admin Control and another for WPA access. Use WPA2 as a shield to prevent access to the router. It creates unique encryption keys for each new user who wishes to connect to your network. They can't get in without a password. Next, change the password that is asked at the time of accessing the router settings. Remember, never use the router with the default password, which is usually 'admin' because most people are already aware of it. Open the settings and change this password too.
Last, but not the least, go for security solutions that offer an automatic Wi-Fi scanner to scan the entire Wi-Fi network and identify potential vulnerabilities in the process. Once the scanning process is completed, users can go through the detailed report of bugs and fix them right away. One can also protect their home network by installing routers that come with an added layer of security like Quick Heal Home Security. As a router becomes a necessity to continue working remotely in the post-COVID world, taking these measures is all the more important to safeguard the device and thus keep hackers at bay.