Protect your wi-fi! Secure it!

Do you enjoy providing free Internet to your neighbors? Probably not. Well, you might be doing just that. You also would not give out your passwords either but if you leave your wi-fi open and never change the default password you may be doing just that. We’ll help you out here so that you can rest in peace knowing that your wi-fi connection is secure and that your neighbors are not using your Internet.

No one ever thinks that they are getting the Internet speeds that they should so if you have a wireless network this should be the first thing to look for. If your Internet connection slows down immensely when a certain neighbor of yours is home you should probably check your wi-fi password. Chances are that you have had to reset your wireless router at some point. Did you ever hit the reset button in the back? If you did, that performs a factory reset on it and returns your wi-fi network to an unprotected open network. If you did that or even if you look in your wireless icon in your system tray and you see it says unprotected you need to log into your router and set up the security. Your Internet connection will probably speed up greatly.

During my time at Comcast I had numerous calls like this. One particularly memorable one was just that scenario. The customer was complaining about slow speeds so we checked what network she was connected to and found it was the default network. We logged in and changed the security (it was a Comcast provided wireless device). After reconnecting to the secure network the speed was much faster. On top of that she said she heard someone in the apartment above her yell out an expletive statement about the Internet. Guess we found the culprit!

It is more that that though. By keeping the default password on anything that is connected to the Internet it opens you up to hackers and that goes for more than just your wi-fi. With more and more devices connected to the Internet, everything from a car all the way down to household appliances like a refridgerator or vacuum cleaner could be comprimised. Hackers have taken control of in-home security systems to spy on people already. The systems may be smart but if their owners are dumb it negates any benefits of the device. The same can also be said for the default password for anything, especially a device like a router or any other device that connects to the Internet. Cybercriminals know what those default passwords are so just by changing them you are going a long way towards thwarting them.

Ok maybe if you live on a farm or way out in the country you might not need to secure your wi-fi this but if anyone else lives within about 150 feet of you it should be done. It should be done anyway just to put up an extra security barrier between yourself and someone who would like to do you harm. Pull up the list of available networks on day and look at it. The number may surprise you. Imagine if they were all open. Most people would simply look at the first one and connect to it and anyone connected to that network would potentially have access to anything else connected to it. If that was your network you could have so many people on it that your performance drags. Tell them to get their own wi-fi by securing yours!

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