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Household Wi-Fi Might be Your Worst Nightmare, Warn Experts

The thumb rule is: always have a strong and super-secure password

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If the home Wi-Fi is what makes you feel secure for online transactions (including bitcoins), official work or sharing personal and sensitive data from the comfort of your bed, be very, very warned.

You might actually be surprised how easy it is to hack into your home Wi-Fi network, courtesy that humble router in the corner that you do not give a damn once installed by your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

According to Finnish cyber security firm F-Secure, for very little money, a hacker can rent a Cloud-enabled computer and guess your network’s password in minutes by brute force or using the powerful computer to try many combinations of your password.

The threat is real and the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) recently issued an alert about Russia-sponsored hackers carrying out attacks against a large number of home routers in the U.S.

According to Sanjay Katkar, Joint Managing Director and CTO, Quick Heal Technologies, cyber criminals are known to exploit vulnerabilities in home Wi-Fi routers by delivering a payload.

“Once infected with the malware, the router can perform various malicious activities like redirecting the user to fake websites when visiting banking or other e-commerce sites,” Katkar told IANS.

The hackers can also use the infected router for the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and other illegal activities. In a DDoS attack, the incoming traffic flooding the victim originates from many different sources.

“In addition to stealing personal and financial data, cyber criminals can also infect smart devices connected to the home network,” Katkar warned.

There are over eight billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices today and by 2020, the installed base of connected devices is forecast to grow to almost 31 billion globally.

Representational image.

According to F-Secure, apply some mind into which router you purchase.

“Routers that come bundled with your internet connection or the most popular routers on sites like Amazon are also the ones that are most often hacked, because their popularity makes them an obvious target,” says the cyber security firm.

It’s possible that your router might have been hacked and you don’t even know about it. By using a technique called DNS hijacking, hackers can breach the security of your home Wi-Fi.

“They can redirect your traffic to a website run by them, causing you to unwittingly give your credit card number or Facebook login credentials to a criminal,” said F-Secure.

Your home Wi-Fi network can easily be broken into if you have a weak password.

Also Read- Social Media Shaping Young ‘Digital Natives’

“Customers should be cautious and look for a solution which can block this malicious traffic and secure all the devices like laptops/desktops, smartphones, smart TVs, smart speakers etc. connected to the home network,” suggested Katkar.

Some ways to have a secure home Wi-Fi experience are to ask for a router that supports the newest Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security standard called “WPA3,” announced recently by the non-profit Wi-Fi Alliance that promotes the technology technology and certifies Wi-Fi products.

You can also create a separate network for your guests with a different network name and password so in case of a hacking from their devices, your family data is secured.

The thumb rule is: always have a strong and super-secure password. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s Why WiFi Failure Makes You Frustrated

Moreover, they also found that as age increases, the level of frustration a person experiences decreases

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Wifi, Pixabay

Do you get frustrated and angry when your WiFi connection stops working? It could be because of your personality, says a research.

The findings showed that when digital technology stops working, people with a fear of missing out (FOMO) — the anxiety that you are missing out a social experience others might be having while you are offline — or an internet addiction displays more extreme reactions.

People who were seen as being more neurotic and extroverted also had more extreme reactions to failures in digital technology.

“The more we use our devices, the more we get attached to them, so when they do not work, we tend to just go a little bit ‘crazy’ or just switch off and stop doing things altogether,” said lead researcher Lee Hadlington, psychologist at the De Montfort University in the UK.

wifi
Why a WiFi failure makes you angry? Pixabay

For the study, published in the journal Heliyon, the team examined 630 participants aged 18 to 68.

 The fear of missing out, internet addiction, extroversion and neuroticism all have a significantly positive influence on maladaptive responses. This means the people most psychologically dependent on digital technology are most likely to have maladaptive responses when it goes wrong.

Maladaptive responses are not only unhelpful, they also have a detrimental impact on productivity and achieving goal, resulting in poor job performance, the researchers said.

Also Read- Apple Continues To Dominate The Smartwatch Market

Moreover, they also found that as age increases, the level of frustration a person experiences decreases.

“If we can understand what leads individuals to react in certain ways, and why these differences occur, we can hopefully make sure that when digital technology does fail people are better supported and there are relevant signposts for them to follow to get help,” Hadlington noted. (IANS)

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