When it comes to internet safety, it’s best to be as secure as possible and that means changing your Wi-Fi password to something more protected rather than the factory settings.
A Wi-Fi password allows devices to connect to the wireless network created by the router in your home or business. This is either the router’s default Wi-Fi password or a password that you assigned to the router when you set it up. Without a good password, your network could be vulnerable to snoopers, drive-by hackers, or other types of threats.
Hacking isn’t just for computers. Wi-Fi routers and cable modems can get hacked, too. And since router hacks can affect your entire Wi-Fi network, they can be even more dangerous.
Steps to change Wi-Fi password
Your password should be complicated enough to be difficult to guess yet still straightforward for you to remember it. The actual steps to change your Wi-Fi password will vary based on the brand and model of your router, but the basic process is the same.
The only negative to changing your password is that after it is reset, you will have to log back into your network from every wireless device in your home or business. This includes all laptops and desktops, tablets, cell phones, smart TVs, Blu-ray players, smart speakers, gaming consoles and any other smart home device you have connected to the network. ClickAway can do this for you quickly in person if you’d rather. But here are the DIY steps to change your password and create a more secure wireless network:
- Log into your router’s firmware. To do this, open your browser and type the IP address of your router in the address field. In Windows 10 you can go through the settings app >network & internet > Status. Select “view hardware and connection properties.
- Change your router settings. At the firmware’s home page, select a tab that says “wireless” or similar. Make sure security is set to WPA2. That’s the strongest level available for personal Wi-Fi networks. Now, look for an entry for your current password. Type the new password in the correct field and click apply.
- Log into all your other connected devices and change the network settings to the new Wi-Fi password.
How to create a strong Wi-Fi password
If your password is something like 123456789 you should create a stronger password immediately. Likewise, if your password is long and difficult such as #$%54GN@!*, this will be quite hard to remember. When choosing a new password, try to follow these suggestions:
- It is better to have a longer password — 8 characters at least. A 16-letter password using only lower-case letters yields a brute force time to break of about 14 years. Adding a single upper-case letter increases this to over 400,000 centuries.
- Forgo regular dictionary words, they are very easy to hack.
- You can play with spelling — deviating from the correct spelling is a good thing for passwords.
- Avoid weak obvious passwords like 1234567890 or abc12345.
Signs your Wi-Fi network has been hacked
Your router is responsible for managing the connection between your internet-connected devices and your home Wi-Fi. Once your router has been successfully hacked, the third-party can carry out malicious activities including identity theft, malware attacks and website reroutes. Here are a few symptoms of a compromised router:
- Your router login is no longer effective
- Foreign IP addresses are listed on your network
- You’re receiving ransomware and fake antivirus messages
- Software installations are taking place without your permission
- Your internet service provider reaches out to you.
Depending on the culprit behind your router’s hack, you may notice any one of several signs that your network has been compromised. If the hacker is simply looking to access a free Wi-Fi connection, your only sign may be a foreign IP address listed on your network and slower speeds than usual. Forbes published an article recently about drive-by hackers and the importance of resetting your router and password. Contact ClickAway for details on how to reset a router.