WiFi encryption may not be something you have thought about, but if you have a wireless network it could be critical to your security. Unless you want to share your data and downloads with strangers, WiFi encryption should be considered.
To check whether or not your network is encrypted, you can look for a padlock symbol in the network settings on your device. It is time to take control of your internet security, and enabling stronger protection doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds.
Read on to learn more about WiFi encryption:
What is WiFi Encryption?
When you have WiFi encryption enabled it means the messages being transmitted between the router and your devices will be scrambled.
Without this encryption, the information will be sent over open radio waves for anyone to see. Whether it is personal information you want to keep private or internet data you would rather not share, encryption is one piece of the puzzle in maintaining your security.
What are the Different Types of WiFi Encryption?
There are three main types of WiFi encryption, and they are not all created equally. When this type of technology was first released, the standard was called WEP. Over time, WEP has become vulnerable and easy to bypass. If you have not updated your router or settings for a while, you may still have WEP. If this is the case it should be upgraded.
After WEP there was a new type of encryption called WPA. This was a significant improvement but also left holes open for anyone wanting to get in. Now there is WPA2, which is currently the best option.
How to Enable WPA2
For those who are unsure whether they have WPA2, you can log in to the admin panel for your router to check and update these settings. The specific instructions will vary between brands but should be located in your product’s user manual, or easily found on the internet.
While you are checking your settings, it is a good time to upgrade your password. These are often generic and can be a target for criminals. Updating your password will support your encryption efforts and should be a mixture of characters, upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. After making any changes you may need to reboot your router and reconnect any devices.
Other Ways to Secure Your WiFi Network
In addition to updating your encryption to WPA2 and using strong passwords, there are a few other things you should do to protect your network. Ensure any hardware and software are up to date and only use devices and apps that you trust.
Try to avoid using open networks which could potentially give someone access to your device, as they may be able to track your online activity at home. Consider turning off your router when not in use, and only share your WiFi password with a select group of people.
The Last Word
When it comes to the security of your WiFi you should never be complacent. Technology changes on a regular basis, and what was once standard may not be the best solution available today. Whether you have no encryption, or outdated WEP or WPA encryption, these should be upgraded to WPA2.
Complement this with other security measures such as up to date software and hardware, and strong passwords for maximum data protection.
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