With so many of us working from home, having a network that is secure from hacking is an absolute must. But even if you’re using your home network just for entertainment, setting up proper security measures will ensure that only authorized users have access to your network and that it works at the speed for which it’s intended (and for what you pay good money for!).
To complete these recommendations, ensure that your router is plugged in and turned on. Then turn on your television or computer and proceed to the Settings section to begin the setup. If you have trouble completing any of the following, contact your network provider’s tech support to walk you through:
- Scrap all defaults. Your router will likely come with a sticker affixed that includes an SSID (a 32-character string of letters and numbers) and a password. Change these right away using these standards:
- Choose a password different from any others you use.
- Use between 12 and 16 characters, including letters (lower and upper case), numbers, and symbol
- If you need to write your password down, make sure to save it somewhere other than the back of the router.
- Create a guest network. Log into your router and create a guest network, with a separate password from the network you created above. Creating this partitioned network provides Wi-Fi available to guests (or kids!) without compromising your speed or security. Each carrier’s process is slightly different, so contact tech support for how to create this partition and allocate the appropriate data/speed for each network.
- Monitor activity. Log into your router monthly and check all devices that have logged on. Review for time and location of access, a device you don’t recognize, and so on. If you see any red flags, change your passwords immediately. Wipe all devices from the router that auto-connect. Users will then have to log back in, but this will ensure culprits don’t continue to access your network using old passwords.
- Keep all anti-virus software up to date. Popups when you’re about to start a show can be annoying, but if you get a message that asks you to update software, never hit “Remind me Later.” Take a few minutes to make these updates; they’ll protect you from malware and viruses and keep your network running smoothly.
When it comes to the integrity of your network, remember that good walls make good neighbors. Not everyone who uses your unsecured network has malicious intent, but even a good neighbor might “borrow” your bandwidth which just slows you down. Follow these quick and easy steps and you’ll be streaming swift and secure on a custom-named network made just for you!