Cybersecurity Awareness: Home Wi-Fi

Cyber security awareness
December 13, 2018

Is your home Wi-Fi secure? Below are a few steps to take in order to secure your wireless home network. 

Routinely update the firmware. Your router, if still supported, needs to be maintained with the latest security updates. Routers typically have IP addresses such as 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. Since all devices and computers vary, the best way to find your router’s IP address is to refer to your owner’s manual. You can then access your router by entering the IP address in your web browser and checking for any available updates. It is recommended you do this every three to six months. 

Create a unique username and strong password. Set up your router by creating a unique username and a strong password of at least eight characters. If you use the router right out of the box, the username and password are weak or the default is “admin” and “password”.   

Change the Service Set Identifier (SSID). The SSID is the name of your Wi-Fi network. Using a manufacturer’s default SSID could pose a security risk to your home network. Attackers are prone to target those with the default name on the likelihood you did not make any changes to your router, see above. Why advertise that you may be providing free Wi-Fi and open yourself up for a security breach? 

Replace your router. It is recommended you replace your router every few years, especially if it is no longer supported. An old router can leave your entire home network vulnerable to cyber threats. 

Contact Mike Wilson at mikewilson@cwi.edu or 208.562.3193 with questions or for more information, and stay tuned for more tips and information on cybersecurity awareness in future issues of Bert’s Alerts.