Is your Wi-Fi from your home secure? In this day and age, I am continually amazed at how many unsecured Wi-Fi connections I can find. I am not talking about hotels or restaurants, but people’s private, home Wi-Fi.
If I bring up the Network Connections panel on my computer or IPad or IPhone, I can find at least 10 Wi-Fi connections to pick from within range of my house and no less than four of these are unsecure – meaning I can simply use them to connect to the Internet (I have not tried to see if I can get onto any computers connected to those networks because that would be illegal).
While this has come in handy in the past when my own home router had connection issues (used solely to go on-line to report issues with the router, download firmware for my own router etc.) or when I am visiting relatives that do not have their own Wi-Fi (yes, these people do actually exist today), I am amazed that there are that many public Wi-Fi connections.
I understand that not everyone has the knowledge or the know-how to secure their own private networks, but the process is relatively simple and does not take long at all.
Basically, you simply log into your router as a user with administrative privileges (hopefully this is not the default username and password that came with the router), go into the Wireless Settings section, and set the security to WPA2 or something similar by assigning a password to it (using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters of course) and then updating all devices and computers with this password for their own network settings. For more in-depth instructions, just Google how to secure the model/make of your router and you should be able to find the instructions you need.
Even if your router is older and only has WPA (and not WPA2), some security is still better than none. At a minimum it will prevent your neighbor from streaming Netflix using your connection and it will stop the casual person from hopping on your network. If your router only has WPA or one of the “older” encryption formats, it is highly recommend that you see if your router is able to upgraded (via a firmware upgrade) or look into obtaining a new router.
Yes, sometimes having your private, in-home Wi-Fi secured can be a hassle – any time you get a new device. any time you reset a device to the factory defaults or if you change the Wi-Fi password,, you have to enter the Wi-Fi password back into the device, and any visitors to your house need to be given the password to use Wi-Fi instead of using their cell phone or device’s data plan. However, not having your network secured can lead to things such as bank account numbers and passwords, or other personal information being stolen off your devices not to mention slower Internet speeds (which means slower streaming of those all important binge-watching days via Netflix).
If you haven’t upgraded your router in awhile or if you are noticing slower internet speeds, you may want to check and ensure you have secured your in-home Wi-Fi and that it is running the most up-to-date encryption protocols.