negotiating with an Internet service provider

3 Tips For Securing Your Home Internet

Internet access is a must-have utility for most homeowners. Not only does reliable internet access enable you to contact your loved ones, shop from home, and tend to personal matters, but it allows many people to work from home.

With so much sensitive information passing through your internet connection, it's a smart idea to check that your connection is as secure as possible. Follow these tips to properly secure your home internet.

1. Adjust Your WiFi Settings

One mistake that homeowners commonly make is neglecting to adjust their WiFi settings once they sign up for internet service through their internet provider. When your internet provider installs your internet and sets up your router, the router comes with a pre-set password. While a pre-set password is better than no password, a pre-set password puts your information at risk.

Hackers are more likely to guess a factory WiFi password than a unique password that you create. They can run passwords that the manufacturer of your router is known to use and try different passwords until they find one that works.

It's important to change the password for your WiFi to one that hackers are unlikely to guess. Avoid using common passwords (like 12345 or "password"), and stay away from personal information that's easy to access (such as your birthday, phone number, and social security number). 

Instead, create a password that incorporates info that few people are unlikely to know. For example, you might combine the name of a childhood friend with numbers and special characters.

You should also change the admin credentials for your router. Most router manufacturers use the same admin credentials for every router they sell. Anyone who has these credentials can change the settings for your network and potentially lock you out of your own internet network. 

2. Be Stingy with Your Access Info

Many people feel pressured to give out their WiFi password to anyone that comes in their home. However, this puts your network and information at risk. Instead, only give your WiFi password to trusted friends and family members. Don't give your password to people performing services on your property, like handymen or salespeople. 

3. Keep Your Router Up-to-Date

Routers come with certain safeguards to help users protect their information, such as data encryption. To keep these safeguards working properly, you need periodically update your router with the latest firmware. You should also regularly ask your internet provider if they have updated equipment for their customers. Newer equipment will have more up-to-date security features.