Internet safety is a widely discussed topic, yet somehow we don’t seem to worry much about it. It is one of those “it won’t happen to me, things like that happen to other people I don’t know” matters which we willingly overlook. However, with all of those data breach cases that made the news, it is worth investing a bit of time and making your connection as secure as it can be.
Internet security is something that your Internet provider worries about on your behalf. However, there is only so much they can do so you also need to do your part. It is better to do it now then worry about it later after your privacy and potentially even your money have been taken away!
Use a Strong Password
This might seem like the obvious thing to do, but you will be surprised by how many people underestimate the power of a strong password. The common misconception is that if someone wants to crack your password, it doesn’t matter how strong it is – they will be able to do it if they really want to.
There are endless possible word-number-symbol combinations you can use for a password and for a hacker to crack it, they need to go through all of the variables. Of course, the obvious choices such as “password” and “qwerty123” are the first ones on the list so you need to keep well away from them, not only for your Wi-Fi network password but also for everywhere else.
Change the Name of Your Connection
The name of your Wi-Fi connection is generated by your Internet Service Provider and a lot of people don’t bother changing it. We don’t think a lot about it, but it is actually a thing that needs changing for improved safety.
The reason for this is that the generic names usually uncover the type of the router. By knowing that, hackers can use prior data and known vulnerabilities to infiltrate themselves into your network and intersect the data as it is passing from your devices to servers.
When changing the name, use something specific and unsuspecting. It might not seem like a lot, but it will actually keep you off the radar for hackers.
Check All Connected Devices
Since we all have multiple devices connected to one router, we often don’t think about someone from outside accessing our connections. After all, that’s what passwords are for, right?
If you haven’t paid a lot of attention to the things we have mentioned so far by now, this is another thing worth inspecting. If a hacker gains access to your network, they might be intersecting and stealing data, making the speed of your Internet drop. The quickest way to determine this is to check your Internet speed. If you are experiencing an unusually slow Internet connection, this might be a red flag.
Use Strong Encryption
We usually think that encryption is granted automatically and that is true, yet not to the extent we would like it to be. The basic level of encryption is WEP encryption which might seem enough to the untrained eye. However, hacking into a WEP encryption is easy and the consequences can be devastating.
To ensure your connection is secure and your encryption can keep hackers away, go for WPA + TKIP encryption at least. If your router allows for it to be configured to use WPA2 + AES encryption, then that is definitely the thing to go for and keep yourself safe online.
Use a VPN
VPNs have become increasingly popular in the last few years after a lot of leaked information appeared online. VPNs are great to keep your data safe – they encrypt the information and they give you a virtual location, providing you with greater anonymity and greater security online.
Before you choose your VPN, make sure you do good research. There are several free VPNs but you should read about the pros and cons before making a decision. There are also paid VPNs which can provide you with better security, so make sure you do comparisons and read reviews.
For a quick solution to this problem, switch to Opera browser. Opera offers a free VPN which should be enough to keep you safe from most threats. Still, opting in for a proper paid VPN is the way to go.
Internet security is something we should all put more effort in. The Internet is a great commodity to have, so make sure you do your best to enjoy it in the safest way possible.