On vacation we often receive visits from relatives and friends. Sometimes not only to spend one or more nights, but we also have guests at home for lunch and/or dinner.
And not infrequently, these visits ask to use our Wi-Fi, something that does not usually matter to us because, whoever else has contracted a Wi-Fi that will pay the same if there is only one person connected than if they are stuck.
The problem is that the guests could be endangering the privacy of our data without knowing it or, of course, wanting it.
If a guest connects to our Wi-Fi with an infected device, the home network in question and its data will become vulnerable.
To protect the home network and allow guests to browse safely, five recommendations can be followed:
Do not give guests the main password
In general, people usually only have one Wi-Fi key per router. And it is the one that we usually offer to our guests. However, the routers have a “guest network”, which can be set in the Wi-Fi settings, in the so-called “wireless settings”. Having a secondary password and not giving the primary key will allow even if an infected device is connected, the attack will not spread to other devices on the network.
Create a unique password for each guest
The Wi-Fi wireless configuration allows you to create secondary passwords and not give the main password to the guests, as we have seen in the previous point. With the existence of this separate network, the guests could access the internet. But they won’t be able to connect their phone to the smart TV or print a boarding pass, for example, because all the devices in the home are outside the guest network.
Change passwords periodically
Creating one or more separate guest networks from the main network is better than giving guests access to the main network. However, it is not complete protection. Once set, the owner will most likely choose a guest password and never change it. Having a password reused between guests can cause problems, because they can re-login to the network from within reasonable physical proximity or share it with friends, for example.
Even if you regularly download updates to keep your devices secure and don’t click on suspicious links or visit unsafe websites, you shouldn’t trust guests, who can compromise your data privacy. The threat landscape is always changing. That is why you can hire specialized companies that offer intelligent protection against real-time threats, such as Plume.
Have a secure network hygiene
With all the devices available, we rarely consider that there might be a danger in bringing new devices onto our network. However, between existing connected devices and those added to Wi-Fi by guests, the user can quickly end up with more devices than they can track. Devices such as security cameras, Wi-Fi connected baby monitors, light bulbs or smart speakers are not always protected by antivirus software which, combined with the use of default passwords, makes them extremely vulnerable to attack. To do this, it is advisable to previously analyze these devices and, in addition, have the services of a company specialized in security, as stated in the previous point.