These days, most American homes have a wireless internet network or wifi. But did you know that having a home wifi network leaves you vulnerable to identity theft? If your home wifi network isn’t properly secured, you could be handing over personal information to identity thieves.
According to the Center for Identity at the University of Texas at Austin, an unprotected network means that identity thieves could be able access your private information, view information that you send and receive, download content using your network, or transmit viruses to you or others.
But there are ways you can prevent identity theft over your home wireless network. Here are three tips from the Center for Identity on how to better protect your home wifi network.
1. Change Your Wifi Network Name and Password.
Many people just leave the default network name and password that their wifi router came with, and thieves take advantage of that. Change your wireless network name to something unusual and change the default password. If you’re in the habit of sharing your wifi password with guests, change your password often.
2. Use Your Router’s Built In Protection.
Most wireless routers come with the ability to encrypt your information (making it unreadable to anyone it wasn’t intended for), and have a built in firewall, which prevents anyone from gaining access to your computer without permission. However, these two features are often turned off by default. Simply by switching these features on, you can ensure better protection for your network.
3. Stay up to date with software updates.
It’s easy to ignore the little box that pops up, letting you know when you need to update your computer software. But these patches and updates are vital for your security. Get in the habit of updating as soon as your computer notifies you or set aside a certain day of the week to check for updates.
For more on how to protect your home wireless network, visit the Center For Identity’s article Securing Your Home Network.
If you’re wondering what else you should be doing to prevent identity thieves from poaching your information, read more of our helpful posts on identity theft. And remember, Texas Legal’s new plans include coverage for identity theft monitoring and restoration, saving you money and adding to your peace of mind.