Most of us now have a wifi router in our home. If you have a large house, you may also have a second router or a repeater to ensure you have coverage. Wifi has ceased to be a luxury and become standard.
However, wifi security is something not many of us think about enough. Or if we do, we tend to think of it in terms of unsafe public wifi, not our own routers at home. The fact is that wifi is not always secure. It might be a neighbor stealing your bandwidth or even a "war driver" looking for unsecured wifi to use to set up a hacking scheme. Most of us also tend to give the wifi password readily to our guests. Protecting your home involves thinking about wifi security at all kinds of levels.
Here are the top 5 things you can do to protect your home and family:
1.Make sure the router password is complicated.
You actually want a password that is hard to remember (you can write it down and store it careful). This prevents that friend you let use it from passing the password to others. Also insist that friends who borrow the password have any function to share the network with others turned off. Windows devices have a bad habit of turning it on by default. If it's turned on on any of your devices, turn it off. Don't write the password down for others. Read it out or enter it for them.
2. Keep your router's firmware up to date.
Check for patches at least once a month. You might want to put this on your schedule next to changing the password. Alternatively, use a router such as the eero router provided with SmartNet - it automatically patches its own software. A lot of consumer routers don't even tell you when updates are available.
3. Set up family profiles.
Family profiles make it so that younger children have proper control and monitoring on their screen time. Some routers will let you limit how long a profile can stay connected a day, or at least let you monitor how much screen time your kids are getting. You might also want to end their access at bedtime (some of us may want to end our access at bedtime...) The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 5 get no more than one hour of screen time per day, but the typical amount is well over two hours. Features like this are available with SmartNet!
4. Change your network name.
The network name can tell a hacker what kind of router you have. Don't use personal information in the name, such as your name or address. Oh, also don't use offensive language or political statements. That can make a hacker want to target you specifically... Even better, many routers allow you to hide the identifier. This is inconvenient for connecting new devices, and you will have to turn it back on temporarily when you buy a new gadget.
5. Change your password periodically.
Since you don't have to remember the password or enter it very often, once a month is reasonable. You can also consider changing it after hosting an event where you had a lot of people in the house asking for the password.
As you can see, there's a lot you can do to protect your home from wifi hackers and piggybackers. The best thing you can do, though, is get a high quality router, such as eero, which is designed to be secure. Buckeye Broadband has partnered with this world-class security to provide you our SmartNet service that includes the eero router - known for its high levels of encryption, well-designed family profiles and ability to work on multiple bands.