Did you know that if someone uses your unprotected Wi-Fi connection, anything they do online can be traced back to you? Ask the guy from Buffalo who was arrested because his neighbor stole his wireless connection to download illegal content. He’ll tell you it’s true.
Aside from being held accountable for someone else’s actions online, though, there are plenty of reasons to password protect your Wi-Fi. Good reasons too. Reasons like protecting your network from attacks and keeping your passwords and other personal information safe. So if you’ve been sharing your Wi-Fi connection with piggybacking neighbors and would like to lock down your network once and for all, here are three tips to keep in mind when you’re creating your password.
1. Don’t make password your password
Or QWERTY. Or ABC123. Choose a password that would take a hacker more than, say, three tries to guess. Something with upper and lowercase letters. Maybe even throw in a number or two. A good rule of thumb is to make sure it’s at least 8 characters long, doesn’t include any personal information and uses a combination of letters and numbers. Other than that, it’s all you.
2. Choose something easy to remember, but hard to guess
Just because a password follows the rules above, doesn’t mean it has to be hard for you to remember. Get creative. A great tip from the Wi-Fi Alliance is to create an acronym from an easy-to-remember phrase. For example, “Indian food is my jam. I could eat it 24/7.” could become IfimjIcei247. See what I did there?
3. Change it up
No one likes a stale password. If you share your password with family and friends, it’s a good idea to change it every so often so you can keep better control over who has access to your network.