When you get a new router, chances are your Wi-Fi signal is strong. Really strong. Perhaps even strong enough to pass right through the walls of your house…and keep on going. Sounds great, right? Not so fast.
Chances are, your incredibly strong new Wi-Fi network is now visible in your neighbors’ lists of potential connection options. That means all your neighbors are going to see that your wireless network has the strongest signal they can connect their devices to and if you’ve left your wireless network completely open, that’s the network that their devices will try to connect to by default.
To keep your Wi-Fi network safe and secure, there are two things you should be absolutely sure to to when setting up a new router: change your network name and set up a secure password.
Change the SSID
In a nutshell, an SSID, or Service Set Identity, is the name of your wireless network. Every wireless network has an SSID and in order for Wi-Fi devices to connect to one another they must be on the same SSID. When you first set up a new router, it’ll come with a default SSID to get you started, but it’s a great idea to change the default network name as many routers use information like your router’s make and model, which Wi-Fi piggybackers can potentially use to obtain default login details.
When changing your network’s SSID, be sure not to use any personal information for your network name. Remember: this is what anyone within range of your Wi-Fi will be able to see. If you’re feeling fancy, be sure to check out our list of Top 10 Feverishly Funny Wi-Fi Network Names so you can add some pizazz to your own.
Set a Secure Password
Did you know that if someone uses your unprotected Wi-Fi connection, anything they do online can be traced back to you? 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.
When choosing a new password for your wireless network, a good rule of thumb it to make it at least 8 characters long. You should also make it difficult for people to guess by mixing it up with uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers. That means no making “Password” your password! I mean it.
With Wi-Fi networking, security is the name of the game. Be sure to keep your network locked down and safe by changing your SSID and password.
“With great Wi-Fi comes great responsibility.” – Fiona Hutcheson 🙂