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BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) – How secure is your home’s Wi-Fi network? Tech Tuesday’s David Powell offers some simple tips to protect yourself.
The following is David’s discussion on this topic:
Our tech expert, David Powell, gets lots of questions when he is out and about because people see him here on Tech Tuesday. The most common is usually about when the newest Apple device is going to come out. One of the other ones is about their home wireless. With all the scrutiny around security these days, David is here to give us some simple tips to secure that home wireless network.
* Add a password to your network. You would not believe how many open wireless access points there are. If you travel at all, you’ll notice how you can see all these different wireless networks, many of them unsecured. At the Tech Tuesday casa, I can see four other networks that belong to my neighbors. What you want to do is to add a password to your network so people have to enter it to connect. This is the most simple step to take. Make the password strong and make it unique. You’ll only have to enter it once on your devices and it will remember the password. Then, hang the new password on the fridge in case you forget it or your friends or babysitter need access.
* Change the network security settings. You want to go with WPA2. Any device made after 2006 will support this type of security. If your router doesn’t support WPA2, most likely it is old and it probably needs to be replaced. To find out how to change this setting, simply look in the manual that came with your wireless router or google the model number along with WPA2 security settings and there are usually detailed instructions.
* Secure the router itself. Many of the routers either come with no password or a default password that all the hackers already know. So, you want to change the password to the router itself. That way, no one can change the router settings without that password. That is a common mistake when people don’t secure their networks, someone can use the default settings to access your device and simply make whatever changes they want.
* Periodically, check the web for best practices. The security landscape is always changing. Many people treat their routers as “set it and forget it” type of devices. Most people never consider updating the software on their routers. Check the web periodically to see what you need to do to stay current and safe. Also, google your specific model and see if there are any known vulnerabilities you should address through a software update.
* That’s really helpful information David. But, while we have you here, let’s ask that #1 question people always ask you…when is the new iPhone 5S coming out? Ha! Great question Stephen. No one knows for sure, but the blogs are all saying early September. Tech Tuesday is upgrade eligible and will be getting one when they come out. We’ll have a full review then!