The Jakarta Post
Protecting our Wi-Fi network from freeloaders also means keeping our computer files and browsing data safe. (Shutterstock/File)
An open Wi-Fi network is much like a wallet left on the table, as it may invite someone with bad intentions. The side-effects, unfortunately, include more than stunted internet speed, as your computer files and browsing data also become ripe for picking.
To make sure your information and bytes-per-second are safe from unwanted users, Popular Science has listed six ways to protect the Wi-Fi:
Change your password
This seems to be common sense, but what makes this easy task tricky is the fact that it has to be done often. Constantly changing your password makes certain that the guessing game for intruders gets harder and harder. This is easy enough to do through your internet router’s settings -- even easier if you still have the manual handy.
For anyone familiar with the tediousness of setting up a router, you will know that the sticker attached to the device itself is the first password you get and the one you need to complete your setup. Obviously, a password that anyone within proximity of your router can see is not exactly ideal. Switching it up once in a while is your best bet at keeping your files safe.
Alternate your router settings
Going back to the router setup, you can simply secure your network while you have got your configuration page open. You can easily alter all settings on this page.
Anyone who has gone through this process may have missed the fact that you can change both your password to gain access to the menus of your router, as well as a separate one to connect to Wi-Fi.
Changing both these passwords means more walls to break through for anyone attempting to hop onto your internet connection.
Another thing you can do while on this page is install any pending firmware updates, which is a simple but effective way to add protection.
Another effective way to boot unwanted Wi-Fi guests is also available on the configuration page. In your router settings, you should be able to find a list of devices connected to your Wi-Fi, therefore you can disconnect those you don’t recognize.
Hide your network
Another major advantage of securing your network while on your configuration page is to hide your network (also called SSID, the service identifier), so other computers and devices will not be able to see your Wi-Fi.
However, this means you would need to connect a new device manually on this page as well, by entering the SSID. While it may be troublesome, it can keep pesky hackers and freeloaders away.
Use an App
Certain apps are available for those who wish to protect their Wi-Fi from unwanted users. Fing for Android or iOs, Acrylic Wifi for Windows, and Who Is On My Wi-Fi for macOS are all free for non-commercial use and able to easily spot strangers hopping onto your Wi-Fi network.
Read also: Tips for browsing safely using public Wi-Fi
Install a VPN
Most of us may have these installed on our devices as a standard basic checklist item, however this is still a trick most are not familiar with. An extra layer of encryption between your device and the internet will also provide yet another layer of security, stopping intruders from accessing your private files.
Some VPN add-ons can also mask the access point’s country of origin, adopting any internet laws from whatever country you select in order to access any websites banned from your local connections.
Despite these advantages, you will need to pay for the best kind of protection. (acr/mut)