Not checking this WiFi setting is like “leaving your front door open” for hackers

We love the Internet. Whether we’re making insomnia-fueled eBay bids on action figures from our childhood, emailing Taylor Swift’s latest conspiracy theory to our best friend, or simply paying the electric bill, being online makes our lives more enjoyable. fun, more connected and much more. Easier.

Unfortunately, there are countless thugs who love the fact that we love the Internet and who would like to steal our personal information. Last year saw a record number of data breaches, which increased by 20% between 2022 and 2023, so if we want to live digitally (and how can we not?), we need to be vigilant about protecting our privacy.

We can start protecting our information by looking at how safe the Internet is in our homes.

“You probably won’t be shocked to hear that we are the problem in this case,” Alysa Hutnik, a privacy attorney at Kelley, Drye & Warren LLP in Washington, D.C., told us – Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson, hosts of HuffPost “Am I doing it wrong? ” podcasts. “It’s usually human error in how you set it up and how you manage your Wi-Fi.”

Listen to the full episode by pressing Play and discover tons of tips and tricks for protecting your online privacy:

The first thing Hutnik recommends we do immediately is check our router settings.

“Keep it out of the box – don’t leave yourself with factory defaults because guess what? Those are public, right?” he warned. “It’s really easy for hackers to get into them. You can change the factory settings, including the password, so setting a really strong password and not having the default is extremely important.”

Next, we want to make sure we’re using encrypted settings.

“Usually somewhere [your settings]there is [an option to choose] “WPA” or Wireless Protected Access,” he said. “You can just enable it, and it’s essentially like you don’t leave your front door open, right? You wouldn’t do that in real life.

Hutnik recommends that control of our settings is not limited to our routers.

“Whenever you buy technology, you go to settings,” he said. “There’s usually a privacy option and a security option…spend 60 seconds just exploring what those options are. Companies are getting so much better – we have a lot of new things [privacy] read, then offer new options. [These protective settings] they may not be default, but you can definitely activate them.

Hutnik had tons of other powerful privacy tips, including this one that only takes a second.

“[I am] paranoid as a privacy lawyer,” Hutnik told us. “I like to maintain [my webcam] covered if I don’t use it intentionally. There is the potential for malware where your device can be taken over [and hackers could use your camera to see into your home].”

He covers the camera with a post-it note or sticker when he’s not using it, and always closes it when he’s finished working on his laptop.

“These are just things to think about: Again, you’re mitigating the risk. That doesn’t mean you’ll get hacked, but I’d rather someone not come into my room if I could help it.”

We also discussed how to make your passwords as strong as possible, what setting on his phone almost always turns off, and much more. Then listen to the full episode above or wherever you get your podcasts.

Be sure to subscribe to “Am I Doing Something Wrong?” so you never miss an episode, including our investigations into the ins and outs of tipping, how to apologize or eliminate credit card debt, how to find love online or overcome anxiety, tips for shopping online, taking care of your teeth and poop like a pro, secrets to booking and staying in a hotel, how to deal with an angry person, cooking tips from celebrity chef Jet Tila, shocking laundry secrets, tips and tricks for cleaner dishes, and more .

Do you need help with something you did wrong? Email us at [email protected]and we may delve deeper into this in a future episode.

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