Episode 14: Guest Access

Keeping Your Home Network Secure

In today’s world, internet access in individual homes is standard. With that internet access, most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) now come with a router (sometimes called a modem) that provides WiFi access to connect to the internet. Many people don’t think twice about giving out the WiFi password to visitors in their home.

  • Your children or grandchildren come to your house, and want to have internet access.
  • You have friends that want to save their cell phone data and need to connect to your internet.
  • You have people who come in to provide a service – health care worker, house cleaner or others – and they ask to connect to your WiFi because they are out of data.

We want to trust everyone we allow into our home. But did you know that allowing others to connect to your WiFi can increase the risk to your personal computer, your smart appliances, smart devices or even your surveillance cameras? Anything that is connected to your home internet access is vulnerable to attack by anyone that can connect to your network.

We aren’t saying that your trusted guests are going to attack your devices. They most likely are not.

The issue is that if they click on a phishing email, or unknowingly go to an infected website, not only is their device in danger, but all devices on the network they are connect to at the time, and may connect to in the future.

Malware and viruses look for opportunity to spread, and a new connection gives them a new avenue to explore.

With the pandemic in the last several years most of us are more familiar with the spread of viruses. The more places you go and the more people you are around, the higher chances you have for becoming infected.

Computer viruses and malware is the same. The more your home network is exposed to more devices, the higher the risk for infection.

Most modern routers have the capability of hosting a guest network. It comes in the settings of the router, and will have a separate name and password.

Tips for a Guest Network

  • Use a unique network name or system identification (SID) – these are the names of the available WiFi networks
  • Use a unique password- Do not use the same password as your normal WiFi – that defeats the point
  • Change the password occasionally

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