Thinking about switching to a secure WiFi network? Here are a few reasons why it is really important!
In today’s day and age, where we’re becoming over-reliant on technology, it’s even more important to secure every facet of our digital presence. Data security is an ever-evolving field of interest and it feels like you can never be safe enough with the number of reported cyberattacks growing steadily day by day. So, in a similar vein, it’s integral having a secure network while connecting to either a personal or a public Wi-fi connection.
What are the Pitfalls of Connecting to a Non-Secure Network?
When you connect to a Wi-fi network that is left unprotected, you stand a chance of being hacked by a cyber-criminal who might use your server information to snoop into your confidential emails and personal messages. This information includes details regarding your recent financial transactions, online banking login credentials, and credit card passwords, thus increasing the chances of you being a victim of cyber fraud.
It’s not just you that is at risk, sometimes your close friends and family may get sent a malicious email or malware, thereby multiplying the chances of their digital identities getting stolen. Moreover, you might be held responsible for any criminal activity carried out by a cyber-criminal while they’re connected to the same Wi-fi network as yours.
It’s not just individuals who are at the risk of online fraud, larger corporations with supposedly foolproof data protection measures have been a victim too in the past, losing out on the intellectual property that makes a brand what it is. A company holds extremely sensitive information pertaining to hundreds of consumers, so a potential data breach may have extremely far-reaching consequences.
This can severely hamper the hard-earned reputation of an established business, result in the loss of a significant amount of revenue, and eventually result in its downfall.
Why are Most Wi-fi Connections Unprotected?
A large part of new Wi-fi connections set up turn out to be unprotected due to a multitude of reasons, but this can mostly be attributed to current trade practices. So, when you buy a new router, the manufacturer makes it easy to set it up by enabling a bunch of default settings.
In most cases, the tech executive who comes to your place to finish up the setup process goes along with these default settings and forgets to inform you that you may need to change it around later. Some of these default settings that are in contention of putting you at risk include:
- The username and password are set to the default options which in most cases is admin/ admin12345 or something similar. This makes it easy for a hacker, even someone with not an awful lot of experience, to get access to your server information
- Your Wi-fi connection is not password protected, meaning that practically anybody can easily log in and use it to their advantage
- The remote administration option is not turned off which provides cyber-criminals easy access to your personal devices from anywhere across the globe
- The firewall option on your personal router is not enabled, stripping it off another integral layer of security
- Your wireless security settings are not up to currently accepted industry standards (WPA or WPA2)
How Can You Ensure that Your Wi-fi Connections are Secure?
Well, for starters you can check if your network connection requires a password to be able to connect it. If it doesn’t then set it up and pick a password that isn’t obvious. Avoid birthdates and use a collection of letters and numbers making it harder for a hacker to guess your password in a couple of tries. This set of instructions applies to your network name (SSID) as well.
The next step to secure your Wi-fi connection is to ensure that the option for devices to automatically connect to your Wi-fi network is turned off. If you know how to, then use a VPN service to cloak your device’s location and hide it from anyone snooping in. While there are a number of free VPN services available on the Internet, it’s better to invest in a premium version. It’ll definitely prove to be worth it in the long run given that there is no cap on the amount of data you can download or upload.
For safety reasons, it is better to avoid sending across confidential documents while you’re connected to a public Wi-fi network since the layers of security they possess are always lesser than what’s recommended. If your phone has an option to unlock it through facial recognition., make use of it. In case it doesn’t, you can always use an alphanumerical passcode to secure it.
Avoid saving login information to your bank accounts or your card details on all of your devices while shopping online since you never know when you might lose them and in whose hands they may end up.
While these methods do happen to reduce the incidence of cyber-crime, they cannot possibly put a halt to it. So, consider subscribing to online security software that can protect you against a myriad of potential threats. When browsing through options, see if the one you’re considering buying provides malware detection, secure VPN services, and a host of advanced parental controls.
Keep in mind that the number of devices protected varies from one plan to another. You could use the trial version to get a better idea of how it works and if you can get accustomed to using the platform before making the final decisive plunge.
Is a Secure WiFi Network Right for You?
Having a secure WiFi network can go a long way in protecting your digital identity and preventing the chances of you being a victim of cyber fraud. Doing so isn’t all that difficult, refrain from following through with some of the harmful practices mentioned earlier and undo the default settings on your home router. If you don’t want to go through that hassle, then simply subscribe to an online security program.