Your IP: Unknown · Your Status: ProtectedUnprotectedUnknown

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SSID definition

SSID stands for service set identifier. It’s a technical way to refer to a network’s name. When you see a list of available Wi-Fi hotspots on your device, you’re looking at a list of SSIDs. They can be up to 32 characters long. Routers come with default SSIDs (SSIDs beginning with “TP-Link” or “Linksys” should sound familiar), but users can (and should) change them to whatever they like.

SSID duplicates

If you and your neighbor happen to both name your Wi-Fi the same thing, your device might try to connect to their Wi-Fi instead of yours. Because your neighbor probably password-protected their Wi-Fi, your device won’t be able to connect.

However, if a cybercriminal were to create an open network with the same name as yours, your devices would connect to it. This would allow the criminal to see what you do online and steal your private data.

How to protect your network

  • You can turn off your SSID broadcast on your router. But keep in mind that whenever you want to connect new devices to it, you’ll have to do so manually, but no outsider will be able to see the name and make a duplicate.
  • Change your Wi-Fi password regularly and make sure to change the default login credentials for your router. Anyone can look them up online, log in, change your settings, or even lock you out.
  • Install a VPN on your router. It will hide your IP address and encrypt everything you send and receive — this way, no one will be able to see what you do online. It will also protect every device you connect to it, so you don’t have to set up separate apps on your devices.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security