Home automation and Wi-Fi connected security systems are fantastic. They make life easier, and keep your family and home secure.
It is no wonder that more homeowners are investing in fantastic gadgets. However, there is an issue.
How to secure my wi-fi
The problem is that some modern Wi-Fi connectable devices are not as secure as they should be. Fortunately, it is not too difficult to solve this issue.
To help you to do this we have put together this basic how to secure Wi-Fi guide. Below we give you an overview of the subject, so you can use that knowledge to find out more, and take the necessary action. Because each device is slightly different, giving you step-by-step instructions is not particularly practical, which is why this is only an overview of the subject.
Place your router strategically
Reducing how far out your home Wi-Fi signal reaches out into the street considerably reduces the chances of someone trying to hack into your home network. If they cannot get a connection, they cannot get in at all, so you need to think about where you place your router in your home. Placing your router properly reduces dead spots in the home, which are areas where the Wi-Fi signal is not strong enough to allow you to connect devices to your home network.
If you install boosters or repeaters, remember to take the time to check those also do not send your Wi-Fi signal out into public areas. You can do this by connecting your phone to your Wi-Fi, and walking away from your property watching for when it disconnects.
Make sure your firewall is active
Provided your router is not ancient, it will have a good firewall built in. This is great, but you need to be sure to take the time to make sure that it is switched on.
Run security software on each connected device
Always install and run good quality security software on any device that connects to your home Wi-Fi network. You should even check that visitor’s devices have the right software installed, up to date, and running.
It only takes one unprotected device to be connected to your home network to open up the opportunity for criminals to hack your system. It is a like going around locking your doors and windows, but leaving the bathroom window ajar.
Naturally, a home invader would be able to use it to get into your home. A hacker will do the same using any unprotected device that is connected to your network.
When you are buying items that will be hooked up to your wireless network, security should be high up your list of considerations. You need to check what protection is built into each device.
Unfortunately, not every manufacturer takes the risk of their devices being used to hack into a home Wi-Fi network seriously. For example, it is still possible to buy a wi-fi home security system, which cannot be set up without disabling your routers firewall. Fortunately, things are improving as manufacturers become more aware of security issues. Increasingly, they are taking steps to address the problem.
Set up the right protocols on your smart appliances and devices
Some home automation devices are designed to talk to other gadgets in your home. This capability can be useful. Being able to make smart lights switch on when your alarm siren sounds could be enough to convince a home invader that someone is at home. If they think that, they are more likely to run away straight away, rather than grab what they can in the few minutes they know they have before someone arrives to see why the siren is going off. Being able to set up scenarios like this is very handy, and, for many homeowners, important.
However, unfortunately allowing devices to speak to each other in this way can create another loophole in your Wi-Fi security for hackers to exploit. Therefore, it is important to go through your system and turn off the permissions you do not need. For example, there is no reason for a smart socket to be able to communicate with a smart light bulb.
Turning off any unnecessary communication rights means that should a hacker break into your system via one item they cannot use other devices to take them along a path that leads to a laptop that contains your bank details, or similar sensitive information.
Change the default passwords
When you buy a home Wi-Fi security system, or set up Wi-Fi, connected sockets in your home do not use the default passwords. The best approach is to have a password for each device and app. You should also change your router, and app access passwords on a regular basis.
Not doing so, could allow a thief to hack into your Wi-Fi security system, disable it, enter your home, take what they want, and then turn it back on. If they did this, and took your bank statements, you would be none the wiser.
Set up individual fixed IP addresses for each device
Most routers and connectable devices use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), to assign IP addresses to each device on a network. With this type of protocol as a device leaves a network its IP address is dropped. When it reconnects to the system, it is assigned a new address.
Unfortunately, this process opens up the potential for hackers to piggyback their way into your system. You can get around this weakness, by assigning each device a fixed IP address. Doing this makes it harder for hackers to add their devices to your network.
Securing a home network is actually easy
We appreciate that the above looks daunting, but there really is no need to feel overwhelmed. Most of the tasks above only have to be done once. You really do not need any specialist knowledge to secure your home network; all you need to do is to take the time to do it.