One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself online is to create secure passwords for every online account you use, starting with your home Wi-Fi internet network. Your Wi-Fi password is the only thing standing in the way of cybercriminals and hackers from accessing your Wi-Fi network, so make it strong! Unwanted guests can do a lot of harm including but not limited to using up all of your data, slowing your Wi-Fi speeds, bogging down your bandwidth, accessing anything on your network and even passing on malicious software.
In this article we’re going to go over how you can make a strong and secure Wi-Fi password to keep your family and their devices safe from harm while using your internet service.
Do Not Use The Default Password
All routers come with a default network name and password that should be changed when you set up your home network. Most routers will prompt you to do so, but if not, you can change both easily within your router manufacturer’s mobile app. If you’re currently using the default network name or password, we urge you to change it as soon as you can. Unfortunately since they’re default to the manufacturer, they’re easily found online and cybercriminals know this.
Shoot For A Bare Minimum Of Twelve Characters
Experts can’t decide on an exact amount of characters that makeup a strong password. However when it comes to creating a strong password, make your password length a priority. The one thing that experts can agree on is: the longer your password is, the longer it takes to hack. With home networks, it’s okay to write down your Wi-Fi password and keep it somewhere safe. Your Wi-Fi password shouldn’t be shared to anyone who doesn’t live in your home. For everyone else, you can set up and give access to your new guest Wi-Fi network.
Embrace Using Numbers & Special Characters
Using numbers and special characters gives your password unexpected flair that cybercriminals have to work harder to get passed. However, it’s not helpful to bunch them together. Doing so adds very little benefit for the complexity of your newly created password.
Use Upper & Lowercase Numbers
Keep mixing up your passwords by adding unexpected upper and lowercase numbers too. Most online accounts will require you to use both and your Wi-Fi should be no different, but you don’t have to use them like you would in a sentence. Cybercriminals know most people do this and it will be the first thing they will try so mix them up unexpectedly to throw them off.
Change Your Password Frequently
If you’re not in the habit of changing your Wi-Fi password, now is the time to start. Every six months or so you should change your password and opt for making all devices sign back in every time. While it’s inconvenient to sign back into your Wi-Fi network on every single device, it will kick unwanted guests that you didn’t know about off. Not only will it make your network more secure, it could also significantly improve your Wi-Fi speeds.