If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give your home WiFi router another thought after checking to make sure it has Internet connection. But did you know that your home WiFi router is a crucial component to your overall security?
While a WiFi router means no more hassling with messy Ethernet cables, you could unknowingly be putting your data at risk of being intercepted if you don’t properly secure it.
When was the last time you checked which WiFi encryption you’re using? Perhaps you’ve been using Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) all this time without even knowing! Using WEP as your WiFi encryption is equivalent to using no encryption at all, as this flawed encryption standard can be hacked in a matter of minutes. To better protect your network, you should upgrade to WPA2, a newer and more robust WiFi network security standard. We’ll show you how to check which WiFi encryption you’re currently using and how to upgrade to WPA2.
First, what’s wrong with WEP?
Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP was introduced in 1999 to provide a WiFi network with security comparable to that of a wired network.
WEP was widely used for years, but before long, it became clear that WEP security was about as strong as a wet paper towel. For example, in 2005, the FBI publicly demonstrated how it could crack WEP passwords within minutes. Once passwords are cracked, a hacker can do just about whatever he wants on your network or to your computer— including stealing your bank account information.
Though WEP was retired as a WiFi network standard in 2004, it’s still in use today, particularly by those with older computers and pre-2005 wireless network routers.
Bottom line: If you haven’t upgraded to WPA2, you should consider doing so right away.
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