Man on cell phone at home

Protecting Your Home Network


Most households now run on wireless networks of devices linked to the Internet. This means that every device is connected to a wireless access point controlled by an Internal router. Devices that may connect to a router include:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Televisions
  • Gaming Consoles

To protest these devices and your home from cybercriminals, you must ensure that your wireless network is secure. Common threats to home networks include the following:


Piggybacking occurs when cybercriminals in your area connect to your wireless network. This can lead to bandwidth shortages and illegal activity through your Internet connection. That means any crime the hackers commit will be traces back to you.

Unauthorized Computer Use

If your wireless network is not secured, cybercriminals may access files on your computer, install malware, or even take control of your computer. They may also monitor your Internet activity to steal passwords and other sensitive information.

Follow this tips to secure your wireless home network:

  • Make your wireless network invisible. Identifier broadcasting allows wireless devices to detect your home network as potential access point. To disable this default option and make your network invisible to others, consult your router's owner manual.
  • Change the name and password. Change your router's default services set identifier to a name that cannot be easily guessed. Create a strong password for your router using a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols.
  • Encrypt your network traffic. Review your security options and choose the highest level of encryption available. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and WPA2 are more secure than Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP).
  • Activate your Firewall. Most operating systems come with a pre-installed firewall Make sure to turn it on to block cybercriminal activity.
  • Use file-sharing with caution. If you don't need to share files on your network, disable the feature on all your computers. Otherwise, create a single dedicated directory for file-sharing and set a strong password for it. Never open your hard drive for file-sharing.