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As coronavirus continues to spread throughout the US, employees might be asked to work from home. People and organizations have gradually become more reliant on mobile devices and high-bandwidth applications, Wi-Fi has become an essential commodity. We depend on it to do our jobs, pay our bills, communicate with our friends and family, etc.
Setting up a strong network for your home or business, during these times, will allow you to complete important tasks without interruption. In addition, it will decrease the threat of cyber attacks.
One of the most common ways that hackers steal data from users is through a process called sniffing. This involves infiltrating a Wi-Fi network, then intercepting pieces of data that are transmitted between clients (devices) and routers.
In order to keep hackers from hijacking sensitive information like your Social Security number or payment card details, make sure the Wi-Fi you’re using is safe and secure.
Here are some tips for making your wireless network both safe and efficient:
1. Create a strong password
When you’re setting up your router, don’t simply go with the default password provided, as this is often the hacker’s first guess when trying to gain access to your network.
Rather, pick a password that is long and complicated. This means at least 12 characters, combining uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers.
2. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN enables you to send and receive data to and from external networks, while keeping your activity hidden from attackers. Individual pieces of data are transported via packets, which can be stolen by network sniffing hackers. However, if you’re using a VPN, the attacker will only be able to see that data in encrypted form, rendering it useless.
Public Wi-Fi networks are particularly vulnerable, so it’s important to rely on a VPN instead, especially when engaging in activities that require you to enter sensitive information, like buying something from an online store or emailing someone your home address.
3. Establish Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANS) for IoT devices
Just because you have one router doesn’t mean you can’t set up multiple networks. VLANs allow you to segment different devices under one router. For example, you could have your smartphone and laptop make up one VLAN and your smart television and home security cameras make up another.
Establishing multiple networks like this puts up more barriers between your devices. So if a hacker breaches your laptop, they won’t necessarily have access to all the other devices connected to that router.
4. Look for WPA3 when upgrading your router
Next time you’re looking through your Wi-Fi settings, check to see which certification your wireless network has and if you’re able to upgrade to Wi-Fi Protected Access Three (WPA3, the successor to WPA2).
The level of your WPA shows how secure your network is, with WPA3 being the highest. In other words, WPA3 provides the most efficient communication between devices, the strongest encryption codes and the best protection against cyber attacks. It’s especially good for stopping password guessing.
5. Don’t keep your devices too close to your router
When your computer, smartphone, microwave, baby monitors or other smart devices are too close to the router, it can cause the signal to become too strong. This leads to data corruption and retransmissions (the resending of damaged or lost data), which can make your network move slower.
For the best performance, place your router in a high, central location, away from any metal objects, cement walls or electronics that may distort the signal.
If you would like to learn more about internet security, visit us at Total Defense today!