online security

15 december 2016

How can you secure your internet network?

You probably have a wireless internet network at home, also known as Wi-Fi. This means you can connect a whole series of devices to the internet without needing any cables. This type of wireless network is very widely used nowadays. But how can you ensure it is fully secure?

Secure your wireless network: follow the steps

Ever more devices are connected to the internet: computers, phones, tablets, televisions, cars, etc. Securing your wireless network is therefore essential. Yes, but how? Follow these steps.

1. Change the admin password

Your Wi-Fi access point always has a default administrator password. Generally it is called the "User password" and is on the back of your modem. This password allows you to enter the configuration menu for your modem and change the password for connecting to the wireless network (generally called the "Wireless key").

In short the administrator password can be found on the back of your modem, as well as on the internet. To prevent malevolent people from using your network for harmful purposes, it is essential to change the password. You can do this easily by configuring your network settings via your administrator account. Tip: replace it with a strong and unique password which you alone know!

2. Change the default name

In addition to the default password, your wireless network also has a default name. This is visible to your devices when they look for an internet connection. It is advisable to change the default name of your network. Tip: choose a name which is easy to recognise but does not contain any personal information.

You can configure your network to be "hidden". This is not actually very useful, as most wireless network scanning tools would be able to unmask it. A cybercriminal with some experience could easily identify your network, even if it is in "hidden" mode.

3. Monitor the connections to your network

Do your friends ask you for the name of your Wi-Fi network to connect to it when they are visiting? No problem, you might say. Nonetheless ensure that you trust everyone who connects to your wireless network.

A good way to avoid problems: do not leave your network open to everyone! To that end simple activate the WPA2 mechanism: to connect to your network, you or your friends will need a password. All connections will then be encrypted. Do not forget to choose a strong password which is difficult to guess and does not contain any personal information, of course. Tip: preferably, choose a password that is different from the admin password we mentioned above.

4. Consider a guest network

Creating a guest network may be a good option to protect connections to your network. A guest network is a "parallel" network which allows your "guests" to connect to your Wi-Fi and go on the internet but prevents them from connecting to any other peripheral on your network. Your internet service provider can explain to you how to add a guest Wi-Fi network. Tip: also consider protecting this network with WPA2, in other words, configuring a password for it which is different from the other ones, of course.

Trouble remembering all these passwords? Use a password manager. You will find one easily online and it will enable you to store all your passwords securely.

Secure your equipment

You have followed the steps above and your wireless network is now completely safe: great! But you still have one little thing you need to do to ensure you can surf with the utmost safety: secure the devices connected to your network.

Are you not quite sure which devices are connected to your network? Use a network scanner such as Fing. This application will identify each connected peripheral. Once you have identified all the peripherals, you can ensure that they are all properly secured. The best solution is to make sure that these devices always run the latest version of their operating system or software. Tip: activate the automatic update feature on your devices!

Do you have any further questions?

Please contact your internet service provider or consult its website. It will provide you with tools to help you to secure your network!

Check regularly that you are properly protected

Feel free to consult our "Online security" page to check that you have taken all the necessary precautions when surfing the internet, whether via your smartphone, your tablet or your computer.