Tuesday 9 August 2016

Turn On Your Guest WiFi...To Protect Yourself

Most home routers these days can offer guest WiFi, yet few people turn on this feature.

I believe the main reason people don't turn on guest WiFi is they don't understand the potential risk to their home network security. After all, you'd only have friends or family that you trust over, and what's the harm in them being on your WiFi?

And you'd be right, if you were 100% sure that their devices hadn't been hacked before visiting you.

But you really can't be. People are hacked all the time and often have no idea. Bad guys like to enable remote access on devices and leave it there so the owner has no clue they have been hacked.

Once a device is compromised it can be used to launch attacks on the rest of the network. Your phone could literally be attacking your laptop.

So what can you do to help keep your computers, tablets, and phones safe(er) from this kind of threat?

Turn on the guest WiFi on your router.

Guest WiFi lets you offer visitors an internet connection that is shielded from your personal devices. Basically they can't "see" anything on your regular WiFi, but they can still get to Facebook, etc.

Turning on guest Wifi on most routers is exceptionally easy. Just select the check-box or radio button to enable a guest network, pick a name for it (Call it Guest WiFi or whatever you like) and set the password, then hit the "save" button.

That's usually all it takes. There are often enhanced functions you can play with for guest networks, like restricting the type of sites they can visit or limiting how much of your bandwidth (speed) guests can use, but to just get basic safety set up it's very quick and easy.

It should take most people no more than 2 minutes to turn on their guest WiFi. Given the potential risk, isn't it worth 2 minutes to protect yourself?

Happy surfing!

-The Home Geek

1 comment: