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Wi-Fi Hacking Happens. Here Are 10 Expert-Recommended Tips to Prevent It | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker | #hacking | #aihp

James Martin/CNET

Use a VPN

There are a few reasons to use a good VPN, and network security is one of them. A virtual private network hides your IP address and Wi-Fi activity, including browsing data.

VPNs are probably more useful when connected to a public network, but they can still add a level of security and privacy to your home network. Some VPNs are better than others, but like anything, you often get what you pay for. Free VPN services are available, but paying a little extra (just a few bucks per month) will deliver a much better, more secure service.

Keep your router and devices up to date

While software updates can be annoying, they have a purpose, and it often includes security updates. When companies become aware of potential or exposed security vulnerabilities, they release updates and patches to minimize or eliminate the risk. You want to download those.

Keeping your router and connected devices current with the latest updates will help ensure you have the best protection against known malware and hacking attempts. Set your router to automatically update in the admin settings, if possible, and periodically check to make sure your router is up to date.

Disable remote router access

Remote router access allows anyone not directly connected to your Wi-Fi network to access the router settings. Unless you need to access your router while away from home (to check or change the configuration of a child’s connected device, for example), there should be no reason to have remote access enabled.

You can disable remote access under the router’s admin settings. Unlike other security measures, disabled remote router access may not be the default.

Verify connected devices

Frequently inspect the devices connected to your network and verify that you know what they are. If anything on there looks suspicious, disconnect it and change your Wi-Fi password. After changing your password, you’ll have to reconnect all your previously connected devices, but any users or devices that are not authorized to use your network will get the boot.

Some devices, especially obscure IoT ones, may have odd default names of random numbers and letters you don’t immediately recognize. If you encounter something like that when auditing your connected devices, disconnect them. Later on, when you can’t start your robot vacuum cleaner from your phone, you’ll know that’s what it was.

Upgrade to a WPA3 router

WPA3 is the latest security protocol for routers. All new routers should be equipped with WPA3, so if you buy a new router, you should have nothing to worry about. However, many people rent their routers directly from the provider, which may not include the most up-to-date equipment.

If your router was made before 2018, you might have a WPA2 device, which lacks the same security protocols as newer WPA3 devices. A quick search of your device’s model should tell you when it came out and any specific features, such as whether it has WPA2 or WPA3. If you’ve got a router with WPA2, call your provider and negotiate for a better, more recent router.

Network security is not a guarantee

Again, even with the most recent and effective methods of protecting your home network, security will never be 100% certain. As long as there is the internet, hackers and cybercriminals will find ways to exploit it. But with the tips above, you can better keep your network secure from anyone trying to use your connection or access your data.

For more, check out how to find free Wi-Fi anywhere in the world and the ideal location for your router

More Wi-Fi tips

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