Nosy House Mates? Here are four ways to protect your internet privacy on your home WiFi.
If you’re house sharing, you’re probably sharing a lot more than the utility bill — like a router to connect to the Internet.
While it makes sense to have one router in a shared living space, it does bring up questions and potential issues about cybersecurity and privacy.
Can my house mates access my sensitive information without my permission or knowledge? How do I secure my WiFi, and how do I protect my WiFi from hackers?
We spoke to ESET for advice on how to protect our home WiFi.
Here are four tips for keeping your network secure and separate from your house mates (and your neighbours as well as anyone else coming in and out of your home).
#1 Set up a guest WiFi network
Chances are, you’ve connected to a “guest” network at cafes, restaurants or nail salons.
But did you know you can set up a guest network at home, too? This will allow anyone in the house to jump online without accessing your main personal network.
One of the major perks of having two WiFi networks is that you can configure them differently, but you’ll still control both of them. For example, you could give your guest network a name and password that’s easy to remember, and create complicated versions to protect your primary network. You could lock and hide your network, which means it won’t even come up as an option when someone’s trying to connect to WiFi.
You can also limit the amount of bandwidth on your guest network, so people can’t stream movies or download large files (and keep that one house mate from using all the WiFi). And you have the option to turn the guest network on and off, and it won’t cut off your Internet connection on your main network. As for how to set up a guest WiFi network at home, most routers support guest access and come with instructions.
#2 Use a VLAN
Another way to protect your network is by setting up a Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN), if your router supports that. In a nutshell, a VLAN is a group of network devices (such as computers) that function in the same way, but are set up to cater to specific audiences. For example, an office might have different VLANs for their sales and customer service departments so they can share resources easily.
Since VLANs let you set boundaries between your network, they can control the kind of data that flows between them. So, at home, you could put your house mate’s Ethernet connections on a separate VLAN, and put blockers in place to prevent them from accessing your VLAN. The result? They’ll be able to use the Internet, but they won’t be able to interfere with any of the devices on your VLAN — which could include computers, phones and Chromecasts.
#3 Connect to a VPN
Worried about your privacy online? It’s worth using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) at home. You can access it on computers as well as portable devices like smartphones and tablets.
VPNs secure your WiFi connection, encrypt the data you send and receive, and hide your IP address. They disguise the identity of sites you visit, so you can use the Internet anonymously. Your roommates won’t be able to look at your browsing habits, and as a bonus, connecting to a VPN will stop your Internet Service Provider from selling your data to third-party advertisers. In plain English, you won’t get targeted by ads that creepily match whatever you just Googled mere minutes before.
#4 Install a sophisticated antivirus software
House mates or not, it’s a good idea to invest in an antivirus software to protect your WiFi and all your devices. ESET Internet Security is one of the best antivirus for home and offers a multi-layered defence against a range of cyber threats, such as malware, ransomware and identity theft. It scans attachments and images for viruses, and assesses any devices that are trying to tap into your WiFi network and webcam.
If you’re an Android user, ESET Mobile Security is a mobile phone antivirus that can block harmful content and hackers from accessing your WiFi. You can install it on your smartphone, tablet and laptop under one shared license.
Top tip: Once you have the best Internet security for home, make sure to keep it current. Manufacturers release patches all the time to fix flaws and bugs, so it’s important to accept software updates as soon as they pop up. They typically only take a few minutes to install, and they help your WiFi to nip new threats in the bud. Our advice? Switch on auto-updates so you never miss one!
Get the best home computer protection now
As you now know, there are a few steps you can take to secure your WiFi, boost your privacy online and give yourself peace of mind when living with other people. If you don’t have a good antivirus software yet, have a look into it.