By Anela Yuen, ICS 184 student

Nearly every average person today uses the Internet on a daily basis, whether it be through their mobile phones, their laptops, their desktop computers, and even their tablets. By default, the average home Wi-Fi has vulnerabilities that allows outsider access to devices on your network. Are you safe browsing the Internet within your own home? Is your private information safe from unauthorized access? Securing your home Wi-Fi may atfirst seem like a technical task, but there are a few simple ways that anybodycan secure their Internet access in their own homes.

Better security can be as easy as:

  1. Changing the default name of your Wi-Fi network
    A router is the device used to provide Internet access in your home andan example of a default network name from a standard router is NETGEAR09. Unwanted access to your Wi-Fi can be thwarted by changing the default name of your network given by the router manufacturer. The technical term for a network name that may be in your settings is SSID.
  2. Changing the default password of your Wi-Fi network
    Changing the default password is crucial because it is easy for outsiders to guess, especially if the router manufacturer is known through the default name. When creating a password, make sure it is long and complex.
  3. Enabling network encryption
    This may seem complicated at first, but most modern routers offer WPA2 encryption and it just needs to be enabled. Encryption protects the data going in and out of your network by scrambling it so it can’t be easily read.
  4. Turning off network name broadcasting
    Basically, network name broadcasting or SSID broadcast, broadcasts the name of your wireless network, making it easy to find and connect to. By turning off SSID broadcast, your network is less susceptible to trouble because it is not immediately and obviously discoverable by outsiders.
  5. Enabling MAC filtering
    A MAC address is basically like an identification number for wireless devices. Every device has its own unique MAC address and with MAC filtering enabled, only those specific devices with those unique ‘identification numbers’ can be allowed on your network.

By implementing some or all of these simple changes in your home network, you will that much closer to preventing intruders from easily accessing the devices on your network and consequently your private information.