The study by security router company pcWRT found that 73% failed to change the default password that came with the router for accessing the network’s settings. Similarly, 73% failed to change the SSID password from the default option.
More alarmingly, 20% were found to be using the same password for both accessing the network and accessing the settings that control the network.
How to secure your Wi-Fi network
Beyond carefully considering the passwords you use, pcWRT stresses the importance of firmware updates which are designed to patch bugs quickly and effectively, however 37% of Americans either fail to do so or only update at the point when their router stops working.
WPS, designed to facilitate seamless connectivity, is also picked out as a key weakness for routers. One-third (33%) of the study’s participants did not know whether they had WPS enabled, while a smaller group wanted it disabled but weren’t sure how to do so.
As for the devices, pcWRT suggests to “set your IoTs free” by disconnecting them from the same network that is accessed by your smartphone and other computing devices, which could present security risks, especially in poorly secured networks. Using a guest network is one such method, though using a router with VLAN support is more favorable and is the most suitable way to separate smart home tech.
Finally, the company offers its thoughts on VPNs which are designed to create an encrypted Internet traffic tunnel that becomes invisible to any prying eyes, be they hackers or just your ISP. There are other benefits, too, such as bypassing certain restrictions and preventing online activity tracking.
Installing one of the best VPNs will help you to secure your online activity away from home, where using things like banking apps on a public network can be risky.