This is the third in a series of 12 tips to help you improve your online safety.
Change the administrator password (and username if you can)
Sites like DefaultPassword.com are really handy if you need to reset a device and no longer have the manual to hand, but are similarly handy to hackers.
WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) allows you to pair a device with the router by simply pressing a button. Because of the way the encryption is implemented, it’s really easy to crack, so should be turned off in the router’s menu.
Use secure guest networks for Connected Devices / Internet of Things
Guest networks are often poorly set up without a password, but used well, they can give you a security boost. The main advantage of a guest network is that it’s separated from the rest of your network, so by default, can only get to the internet, and not to your other devices. Set a strong password to it, and use the guest network for Internet of Things devices like wireless-connected lightbulbs.
If you have a wireless printer, enable security
My neighbor has an unsecured, wireless printer. I just sent this document to it. pic.twitter.com/dBvSmTpfpp
— Shari VanderWerf (@shariv67) July 10, 2013
Use MAC address filtering
All hardware devices have a Media Access Control (MAC) address which uniquely identifies it. Configure your wireless router to only allow your own devices to have access. (E.g. instructions for Virgin Super Hubs)
Use a schedule to turn Wi-Fi off
Most wireless routers have a function which can turn the wireless network on or off on a schedule. Although there’s an obvious security benefit to this, you might find that when Facebook suddenly stops working (for you or your teenager), this is a useful prompt to go to bed