Are you “Safe as Houses” on the internet in your home? 

I imagine most people have heard of the term “Safe as Houses”. It’s a common Victorian expression which means ‘secure; with no risk of failure’. And when you’re at home, sitting in your living room, connected to your home Wifi network, I imagine most people tend to feel Safe as Houses.

But are you really that safe at home? What steps have you taken to ensure this? Or were you just so excited with the speed and quality of your new high-speed internet connection that after the technician finished the install and made sure you were connected, you never looked back!?

If that’s you, it’s time to take some action! The path of least resistance is exactly what the criminal underworld preys on.

And do not doubt that this threat is real. Just last week a colleague told me about a situation  where hackers sat outside his parents’ house in Melbourne, where they could access the home Wifi network. They proceeded to hack their unprotected Wifi network and hijack the DNS, so when they entered their banking website’s URL, it took them to a fake banking site (a Trojan horse) which was then able to obtain their credentials. I don’t want that to happen to you!

Below are 6 relatively easy steps for you to implement to help secure up your home internet connection. Don’t hesitate. Act now!

  1. Change the default admin password. The administrator’s username and password are often written on the device itself. Make sure its long and unique, i.e. don’t reuse another password you know well. Preferably use your password manager record it.
  2. Disable Remote Access (if available), Wifi Protected Setup (WPS) and Universal Plug and Play (UPNP) features on your router.
  3. Make sure your router software (firmware) is patched to the latest version.
  4. Setup your wireless connections to only allow WPA2 AES encryption (and look for WPA3 when/if available).
  5. Stop your wireless network from being broadcast, and also make sure your SSID has not been changed to anything specific to you (like your name or address etc.)
  6. If you want to allow people outside of your immediate household to access your network, create two separate Wifi networks; the main one for your use, and second network for guests.

If some of these items appear too technical for you, just jump online and search for your specific Wifi modem’s support pages. There are a number of different vendors who produce Wifi modem devices, such as TP-Link, Belkin, Netgear etc., and each of them provide technical manuals specific to that model.

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