Security can be the main concern for financial institutions when working on a wireless network. The average individual protects their home wireless network by setting up a password to prevent their neighbors or others from taking control of your data. In a post-pandemic world, where many are still working remotely, we have to be more serious about wireless networking connections.
Why is it important to be safe on wireless connections?
Something you may not have considered is that your WiFi network does not end at your office or home walls. In fact, your wireless network can extend over 300 feet through the air. It’s important that you secure your wireless connections in order to prohibit others from gaining access to it, especially the private information financial institutions have access to.
Those who gain access to your wireless network (including cybercriminals) are able to view files on your computer and spread a virus. They can monitor the websites you visit, gain access to your login credentials and read all of your emails. They can also send spam or illegal activities using your internet connection. This can slow down your computer or laptop’s internet connection speed.
Here are a few best practices for being safer over a wireless connection.
Protect your router.
Make sure you’re not still using the default password. Always change the default username and password on any device; preferably before connecting them to the internet.
Check router firmware.
Periodically ensure the firmware is up-to-date for new functionality or security fixes.
Make sure that you have wireless encryption turned on (WPA2 or newer). It’s not a bad idea to change the password for your wireless network occasionally, especially if you suspect an unwelcome device has joined your network.
Use Guest Wi-Fi.
When guests need to connect to your WiFi have them connect to the Guest WiFi. Any non-essential smart devices that only need to connect to the internet should go on the guest WiFi. If any of those devices get compromised, the attacker can’t access any of your sensitive devices like your laptop or smartphone or listen to network traffic.
4 Tips for Using Your Wireless Connection (WiFi) Securely
1 – Never allow your device to connect automatically to any WiFi network you cannot control.
2 – Don’t remember or remove any wireless network that you don’t control. Yes, you’ll have to sign into WiFi each time – but the risk can outweigh the convenience.
3 – If you have to use a public WiFi network, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN creates an encrypted “tunnel” between your device and a server out in the world.
4 – If no secure networks are available, use the data from your mobile carrier like when you’re not on WiFi (hotspot).