Your wireless routers not only provide you with Wi-Fi but also give a lot of devices access to the rest of your network. So, securing your router is essential in protecting your personal and business data. Let’s take a look at a couple of best practices to strengthen your network security and keep your wireless internet protected.
Before diving into the list, we should clear up what your wireless internet router is actually like. Many people pay little to no attention to their router after setting up, besides the occasional unplugging and plugging back in when the Wi-Fi goes down. However, your router is actually its own computer with its own operating system. Because of that, they have their own vulnerabilities that most users are unaware of.
Unfortunately, most routers are not built with security at the forefront, and very few alert users when new firmware becomes available. If unchecked, this can lead to security vulnerabilities lasting longer than anyone would like, increasing the risk of data breaches.
So, what can you do to prevent this?
1. Update your Router Software and Check the Settings
Like any computing system that you use, your router runs software that allows it to function. So, as your router ages, you’ll have to update the firmware and software that the router uses to route wireless signals. Also, consider checking the following settings:
Network Name – Make it something unique that doesn’t allow hackers to easily identify your organization
Automatic Updates – You can turn on automatic firmware updates to maintain network security.
Enable WPA2 or WPA3 encryption – This ensures that only authorized users can access your wireless internet.
2. Disable Dangerous Accessibility Options
Unfortunately, sometimes the options that make our router easier to use also open it to network security breaches. Two accessibility options to look out for are the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Wi-Fi-protected Setup (WPS).
UPnP is the default setting on most routers but also leaves your wireless internet open to attack. It’s worth taking the time to change this setting to improve security.
WPS is an ease-of-use feature that allows devices to connect through a static eight-digit pin, even if the username and password for the network have been changed. The PIN is often even printed right on the router. This leaves it extremely vulnerable and should be disabled immediately.
3. Set Up a Guest Wi-Fi Network
One of the best ways to maintain network security is by limiting the number of people that have access to it. You should only trust others with network access when absolutely necessary. A wonderful way to make this possible is by setting up a guest wireless internet network to offer visitors. Most commercial-grade routers and many personal routers have this function. You can even set the network to turn off after a certain amount of time, further limiting access.
If your business runs a lot of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, this guest network can save you from a number of security problems. Since IoT devices come with their own security pitfalls, connecting them to the guest network will keep your information safe.
Keeping your router and wireless internet secure can go a very long way in protecting your whole computing infrastructure. Give WheelHouse IT a call at 954.474.2204 today to learn more about network security for your business.