Wi-Fi is one of those technologies of modern times that provide a seamless, untethered, and convenient way to connect and access the Internet, and most of us after setting up the router don’t pay much heed to its security and this could be very risky because if not taken proper precautions then the hackers can exploit the security of your router and steal all the data & information that is being shared across the network.
Most of the time the hackers take advantage of little mistakes that are made by the users at the time of setting up the router and these little mistakes can be very lethal for some users, especially when a hacker exploits these mistakes and hacks into your Wi-Fi.
To avoid the worst outcome, it is better to avoid these mistakes and take a few simple, yet effective precautions that can reduce the chances of a hacker getting into your router significantly and prevent you from falling victim to Wi-Fi hacking. Here are 5 Basic Router Settings to Protect your Router against hackers that want to get access to your Wi-Fi Network:
Be cautious with Wi-Fi Password
There are several things that you should keep in mind regarding Wi-Fi Network passwords.
- The first one is that you should always use the latest encryption available on the router. For older routers, WPA2 is the go-to choice but for modern routers, WPA3 is the optimum choice that has most of the security flaws of WPA2 fixed.
- Always use a password that is a combination of upper-case letters, lower-case letters, along with numbers and special characters. Such passwords are considered more secure than ordinary passwords.
- Never use the same password everywhere. It is advice that is applicable not for Wi-Fi Routers but for other accounts too because one of the ways by which most people lose access to their personal accounts is that they use the same password everywhere. Never make that mistake.
Enable the Guest Network
Another way by which most people let unknown people into their network is that they share the Wi-Fi network with every guest that comes into their home and you never know what the other person is doing over the network. Giving someone the password of your main Wi-Fi network isn’t a wise thing to do, that’s why manufacturers have made this feature of Guest Network.
On the Guest Network, anyone can access the internet for as long as they want to but at the same time, the security of the main network is in no way whatsoever compromised.
Use built-in Firewall
It is one of the best security tools that are pre-built in most routers nowadays and if you have a router from the last decade then there is a good chance that you will find this tool in your router’s settings. A firewall monitors the incoming and outgoing traffic and makes sure that no one is able to access the network without access.
The firewall is not branded exactly the same by every manufacturer but you will find it in the advanced settings of the router that are accessible from the admin panel of the router. Just open the admin panel of the router through the default gateway address (e.g 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.100.1) and head over to the advanced settings. You will find something like “NAT filtering,” “port forwarding,” “port filtering” or “services blocking.”
Through these settings you can tweak the incoming and outgoing traffic for your router. These are some technical things to do and unless you’re an expert in this, you should take help from a trained technician who can set the optimal settings.
WPS or Wi-Fi Push Service is a technology that allows you to connect to the Wi-Fi network using a push-button but with WPS enabled, getting into a router becomes much easier for the hacker because the WPS Pin feature is the one that is full of flaws.
A hacker can easily apply brute-force on WPS PIN code and if the attack goes successful, which usually does then the hacker will be able to get the password of your Wi-Fi network no matter how secure it is because they got direct access to the Wi-Fi by exploiting WPS PIN feature and then can find out the password of the Wi-Fi network and even change it through the admin.
What you should do is just disable the WPS feature through the admin panel of the router if this feature is enabled. The router admin panel can be accessed through the default gateway address which is different for different routers e.g it can be 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.10.1 or any other address.
You can also just disable this feature at the time when you are setting up the router to make sure that your router remains safe and protected.
MAC Filtering is another security feature that you would find in almost all Wi-Fi Routers. It is a security that uses the MAC Address or Physical Address of a device and depending on the settings, can either allow or block a device from connecting to the network. You can set up the MAC Filtering by finding out the MAC Address of all the devices in your household and then whitelist those devices in the MAC Address settings.
After that, only the whitelisted devices will be allowed to join the network while other devices will be blocked from doing so, even when they know the password to your Wi-Fi network. It is one of those next-level security features that guarantee total security because even if someone knows the password, they won’t be able to connect to the network unless their MAC Address is whitelisted.
Using a combination of all these aforementioned settings and tips will definitely help you protect against all sorts of potential threats and attacks on your Wi-Fi Network.