10 Effective ways to improve your Wi-Fi security.

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10 Effective ways to improve your Wi-Fi security.

Everyone loves having easy access to the internet on multiple devices through a wireless network. However, Wi-Fi security rarely dawns on them unless they are security experts.  Hackers rely on awareness gaps of their targets of the security best practices to engage in multiple wireless network-based attacks. 

Let us look at some of the common Wi-Fi-based threats with effective ways to boost its security. 

What are some of the common Wi-Fi based threats? 

Just like how a character prepares for a heist in a movie, mapping out security weak points, a cyber attacker tries to gain access by leveraging some of the most commonly exploitable vulnerabilities. It could be anything from a weak password (since many people don’t change their default router password) to taking advantage of unconfigured security settings.  

Even if you use strong passwords for your Wi-Fi, hackers still can leverage other vulnerabilities that you may have not thought about yet.  

Some common Wi-Fi based cyber threats 

Here are some of the common Wi-Fi security threats that you should be aware of: 

  • Snooping/eavesdropping: Hackers target Wi-Fi connections with weak security to gather information and snoop for private information that they can leverage to create tailored phishing attacks.
  • DDoS attacks: All unencrypted Wi-Fi networks come with a risk of exposure to denial of service attacks. A hacker can disrupt a network by sending interference signals and generating high traffic. Since Wireless works on waves can never be fully secure against DDoS attacks.
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks: Attackers intercept users connected over a public Wi-Fi to steal and alter the communications exchanged between the user and website/other users.
  • Session Hijacking: In an insecure Wi-Fi connection, a hacker uses malicious tools that can snoop communication between their target and a server. They hijack the session to extract sensitive information that they can use to gain access to sensitive information and target internet sessions.  

Read the Top 10 most common types of cyber attacks.

Alarming facts about Wi-Fi Threats 

  • There were 7.9 million DDoS attacks in the first half of 2023 (TechTarget) 
  • Over a quarter of adults in the US compromised information on public Wi-Fi (Statista) 
  • Around 30% of users connect to public Wi-Fi to browse social media and 20% to make financial transactions (Statista) 
  • 80% of data breaches arise from DDoS attacks, identity theft from stolen data (Verizon) 
  • 50% of businesses plan on prioritizing improvement of network security to reduce the threat of data breaches (IBM)  

What are some of the common ways to improve Wi-Fi Security? 

1. Change the default credentials  

Most routers come default with weak credentials. Therefore, it is essential to change the credentials and set strong credentials with only limited authorized personnel access to the credentials. Set credentials that follow strong password best practices. You can do this by accessing your router’s settings through its dedicated application (verify the application for authenticity. You can also check the manual for this.)  

2. Set a strong password 

One may be inclined to set a password that is easy to remember but not necessarily strong. Since Wi-Fi networks are prone to password attacks, it is critical to set and periodically change passwords using strong password best practices like it must be unique, not easily guessable, must not be alphanumeric and not a dictionary word, must be of 10 characters, etc.

3. Increase awareness on security best practices 

Attackers count on the fact that most people are unaware of the common network security threats and are prone to social engineering-based and other forms of WiFi attacks. It is essential to keep educating oneself on the latest security best practices so that attackers have a tough time figuring out a way into your network. 

4. Disable auto-connection to Wi-Fi networks 

Attackers create malicious Wi-Fi hotspots and honeypot networks in public places like restaurants, cafes, parks, etc. An unaware person can automatically connect to such a network without realizing that they have given access to hackers looking to access sensitive data or unload malicious software that can be used to snoop sensitive data back to them. Disabling autoconnection to the Wi-Fi network might reduce the possibility of that happening.  

5. Disable remote access setting on your router 

Many routers come with a feature of remote access that allows anyone to access the settings on your router without being connected to the network. Since this feature doesn’t come disabled by default in most devices, disabling it is a must to prevent unauthorized access to router settings. You can do so by going to the admin settings on your router’s application.  

6. Perform a periodical check of devices/MAC addresses connected to the network 

Modern routers come with a feature that lets you view all the devices connected to the Wi-Fi network along with their MAC addresses. Keep checking this list of devices from time to time to ensure that no unauthorized devices are connected to the network. Kick any suspicious devices out of the list if needed.  Performing a periodical audit of all the devices (including all the IoT devices with odd names!) connected in your organization always helps.  

7. Check whether the Wi-Fi connection is encrypted

To prevent hackers from snooping into your network and gain unauthorized access, enable your Wi-Fi with the latest encryption standards (WPA2 and WPA3) and firewall from the router settings which automatically blocks out malicious actors from connecting to your network.  

8. Be aware of the most common cyber threats

By being aware of the most common security threats, you automatically are prepared against the most commonly deployed tactics and strategies by modern hackers.  Always keep up with the latest best practices to defend against common security threats. It includes knowing how to spot a malicious site from a genuine one.

9. Implement zero-trust approach

A zero-trust approach is the single most effective defense against most security threats. It requires verification and authentication of every connection, securing you from malicious actors trying to gain unauthorized access.   

10. Keep firmware updated and periodically perform a check of hardware reaching end-of-life 

Hackers always look for unpatched security bugs in your defenses that they can exploit to bypass them, gain access to sensitive information, and take control of your systems. Software vendors periodically release security fixes for unpatched vulnerabilities. Therefore, keeping all firmware updated becomes imperative.  Also, upgrade hardware to new hardware with improved security capabilities since many vendors stop releasing updates for the products after they have reached end-of-life status.   

Tips to improve Wi-Fi security for Home/Personal use 

  • Enable WiFi encryption or Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol WPA to prevent unknown individuals from scanning your network information  
  • Install a centralized internet security solution for all your systems at home 
  • Enable firewall to only allow authorized applications to access the internet  
  • Avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi and if you do connect, never access sites that require you to enter sensitive personal information such as your banking details 
  • Use HTTPS Everywhere to keep your traffic encrypted when you visit websites 

Tips to improve Wi-Fi security for Business 

  • Prioritize physical security by assigning a secured location with restricted access to Wi-Fi router to minimize  
  • Invest in a good VPN service for businesses that can mask identities and encrypt connections while users connect to the internet so their data remains secure 
  • Set strong passwords for network access and a unique Service Set Identifier (SSID) that is difficult to guess  
  • Create a separate network for external people/IoT devices/Smart devices 
  • Keep firmware updated it includes operating systems, router software, and network security software 
  • Hire experts who can assist you in identifying network security gaps and implementing cybersecurity best practices to keep your information assets safe from the threat of cyber attacks like data breaches 


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