How To Protect Your WiFi From The Ongoing Cyber Hacking
Thanks to a newly discovered security flaw, your home Wi-Fi is completely hackable, giving cyber thieves a front row seat to everything from your private chats to your baby monitor. And there’s not much you can do about it — yet.
Fixing such a gaping problem with Wi-Fi protocol is going to require making sure your smartphone and laptop are up to date with the latest patches.
You’ll also want to check for any firmware updates to your wireless router. If you’re using equipment provided by your internet service provider, Rudis recommends checking with the company for the latest information on updates. If you own your router, you’ll want to check to make sure you’ve downloaded any patches.
Since virtually every device in the world that uses Wi-Fi is vulnerable, he said it’s crucial to stay on top of updates.
“I think most manufacturers will have patches soon,” Rudis said. “But if you don’t see a patch for your home network equipment in at least a week, you should get a new Wi-Fi access point for your house.”
While part of the solution is in the hands of vendors, home users can protect themselves now by using a “virally important” tool called a VPN — a virtual private network.
A quick Google search will lead to some VPN options, which range from free to a few dollars per month. IPVanish VPN and Private Internet Access VPN are two popular choices.
“The minute you do that, you negate this vulnerability,” Rudis said. Hackers might still be able to capture your packets — but they won’t be able to break the security.
You can also safely browse at HTTPS sites; however, that will require every link, photo, and anything else on the page to also have a secure domain, Rudis said, calling it “virtually impossible to do.”
There seems to be a new vulnerability being exposed every day, bolstering the need for more resources to go toward fighting a cyber threat that continues to grow exponentially.
One in 131 emails sent last year contained malware, marking the highest rate in five years, according to a report from Symantec.
The growing threat is costing companies — and consumers — big bucks.
Cyber security spending is expected to top $1 trillion between 2017 and 2021, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, and that’s largely fueled by the growing number of hacking threats.
The disclosure on Monday was one of the more troubling ones in recent times for security experts, though they also stressed it’s inevitable.
“Think of anything mechanical, even think of food,” Siciliano told NBC News. “Occasionally you see a recall because an airbag is hurting people or because brakes aren’t working because the design was flawed… Nothing will ever be perfect.