Home WiFi is now about as common as cable television once was, and even more necessary. Now that so many devices – phones, tablets, laptops, etc. – operate wirelessly and so much of our lives takes place online, a secure home network is the bare minimum required for protecting your information.
When you set up a new router or modem/router combo, you’ll find a sticker on the back with default passwords on it. One is the admin password, which you have to enter in order to configure the device. The other is the default WiFi password, and if your router offers a second or “guest” network, it may show a second default password for that.
The first thing you should change is the network name. Usually, default settings use the brand of router or the name of your ISP, which can help potential attackers identify your network. Change this to something unique that you will recognize as your home network.
Most importantly, you MUST change the WiFi password. Default passwords may be used across an entire model of router, so if you leave it, anyone could attach to your WiFi network. It’s not worth the risk to you and your data to not change this password.
Strong passwords are more important than ever, even on your home network. Almost all devices will remember your password or connect automatically, so don’t be afraid to create a really solid password.
Wondering how to create a strong password? It’s a pretty simple formula. You’ll need a minimum of 8 to 12 characters, including:
- Capital letters
- Lower case letters
- Special characters (!, @, #, $, *, etc.)
This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. One of the easiest ways to create strong passwords is to start with a phrase you’ll remember and then substitute other characters. For example:
You can also use a random password generator to create a solid password for your network. And if you have a second WiFi network, don’t use the same password for both.
Every time you access the internet, your data and information are vulnerable. The more secure your home network is, the safer you and your data will be.
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