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How to secure your home wifi network

Looking to improve your wifi security? In this overview we will cover the most important factors and settings to securing your home network.

Wifi security overview

Whether you're browsing online boutiques for new clothes or sending classified documents to your co-workers, your network configurations can make or break your wifi security. From renaming your router to upgrading your software, here’s how to boost your wireless security.

Rethink your wifi password

Think of your router like the first line of defense from an outside wifi invasion. Without a strong password, you're opening the door to hackers. Your login credentials should be long, complex, and use a variety of special characters, numbers, and letters. We’ll dive deeper into password requirements in the next section of the guide.

Protect Your Home Wifi

Rename your wifi network

A unique network name, also known as a service set identifier (SSID), is just as important as your password. Keeping the standard name created by your internet service provider upon setup may signify that your password is unchanged as well. Since many hackers have a list of ISP-assigned passwords, there’s a higher chance of them breaking into your wifi. Including personal information — like "Jane’s House" or "123 Pearl Street" — may indicate that your password also contains personal information, once again making it easier for hackers to crack the code. Consider the same elements for your network's name as you would for your password: long and complex.

Update your wifi router firmware

To maximize wifi security, it’s vital that your router's firmware is always up to date. When hackers identify a doorway into a router's software, internet service providers must patch these openings with a stronger solution. Without upgrading your modem, your system will remain an open door. Those with a Cox Certified Cable Modem do not have to worry about manually upgrading the firmware as Cox pushes out updates automatically. In addition, customers with Cox High Speed Internet and Cox Digital Telephone can upgrade their modem for free. Several tools and applications are also available online to help you determine whether your software is up to date. The following examples can help you get started:

Turn off remote administration

Most newer modems automatically enable remote administration — allowing users (and others) to access the system while on vacation or out to dinner. Unfortunately, if you can easily access your router from afar, so can a cybercriminal. Building this bridge welcomes unauthorized access and use of your system. As so, you should turn off this function if you don’t absolutely need it.

Disable SSID broadcasting

Think back to when you first connected your mobile device or laptop to your wifi. You located your network's name from a list, entered your password, and connected within seconds. Unfortunately, broadcasting your network's name to nearby devices makes your wifi a sitting target. As so, disable this function and opt to manually enter your SSID on authorized devices. While this may take more time, it can save you from wifi exposure in the future.

Install a software firewall

While your router is your first line of defense from attack, it's important to have a backup plan in case it fails. Install a software firewall to help safeguard your mobile devices from viruses, data loss, and risky apps. Products like the Cox Security Suite Plus Powered by McAfee® include an adaptive two-way firewall to offer ultimate protection and can even send you reports on the safety of your devices.

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