How to make your WiFi safe and secure

How to make your
WiFi safe and secure

Top tips to stop others accessing
your wireless internet connection

Keeping your WiFi (or wireless internet connection) secure is important for your online security. Although your home WiFi connection will be more secure than public WiFi, there are some simple things you can do to help make it safer.

Here are some ways to boost your WiFi security:

 

Change your WiFi password

The simplest way to make your WiFi instantly more secure is to change the password it came with. Although the password might look secure, anyone using the same provider as you could have a similar password, so it’s best to change it to something unique to you.  

 

  • Find the router’s IP address, username and current password – this should be labelled on the bottom of your router or in your user manual. 
  • Type the IP address into your web browser and press enter
  • Enter your username and current password. This will take you to your router’s setup. page. Here you can change your network password and any other WiFi settings. 
  • Remember, this will disconnect all previously connected devices, so you will need to update the new password on all connected devices.

Encrypt your WiFi connection

WiFi encryption works by scrambling the information being sent between your computer and the website’s server. Some routers will have WiFi encryption automatically, so check with your provider first to make sure you are not using an Open or WEP connection type. If you are, simply follow these steps:

 

  • Go to your router’s setup page. You can do this by opening your browser and typing the IP address labelled on your router into the address bar.
  • Login using your username and password. You can usually find your username and password in your router’s setup manual.
  • Find the ‘Wireless security’ or ‘Wireless network’ section.
  • Go to the ‘Wireless Encryption Type’ setting and change it to WPA2-PSK. For some providers, this will be the default setting. 

Change your WiFi name

Your WiFi name, also known as your service set identifier or SSID, is what your router broadcasts so that, provided you have the WiFi password, your device can connect to it. By giving it a personalised name, it makes it harder for people to guess what type of wireless you have. This makes it harder for people to try and guess your password.

 

  • Log into your router setup page by following the steps outlined above. 
  • Look for the section ‘Network Name’ or SSID. 
  • Change it to something unique, avoiding any personal details, as everyone will be able to see what you choose.
  • Remember you’ll have to reconnect all your devices using the new name

Make sure your firewall is activated

All routers will have a firewall, which protects your internal network from outsider attacks. It might not be turned on, so it’s best to check. 

 

  • Log into your router setup page by following the steps outlined above. 
 
  • Have a look for the ‘Firewall’ section. If you can’t see it listed, it may be labelled as SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) or NAT (network address translation).
 
  • Turn it on if it isn’t already active.

Turn off guest networks

Guest networks could allow visitors to log into your WiFi without a password. That means that if your WiFi signal reaches beyond your four walls, anyone could be connecting to your guest network.

 

  • Log on to your network setup page.
 
  • Find the ‘Guest Network’ section and switch this off.

Turn off your WPS

WPS stands for WIFI Protected Setup. When this is turned on, it means that devices can be easily paired with the router, even when protected by a password. This can provide any easier route in for hackers and guests to access, so it’s best if it’s turned off.

 

  • Log into your network setup page and look for the WPS section.
  • Make sure this is switched off.

From simple changes like moving your router, to smart checks for firewall activation, these six tips will make sure that your WiFi can only be accessed by the people you trust.

Add your signposting title here… Find out more about how to stay safe online

As well as making your WiFi as safe and secure as possible, there are other simple ways to make sure you’re staying safe online. Here are just a few security tips: 

  • Always make sure the websites you use are secure by checking for ‘HTTPS’ at the start of the address bar, along with the green padlock. This is especially important when shopping online.
  • Antivirus is important for keeping your desktop or laptop safe from viruses. If you have a NatWest account you can download IBM Rapport for free.
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