As you may have seen, two security researchers have discovered a massive flaw in WiFi that affects just about every device we own.
The flaw relates to a security protocol called WPA2 that is designed to prevent outsiders from accessing our home WiFi networks and spying on us, or hacking into any connected devices.
Now that the vulnerability is out in the open it’s only a matter of days or weeks before companies start pushing out updates, but it’s a huge job and because it affects just about every gadget we use it’s going to be up to us as much as it is them to plug the holes and protect ourselves.
What should I do?
Speaking to HuffPost UK, Jarno Niemelä, Lead Researcher at F-Secure Labs explains the advice actually doesn’t change for normal consumers.
“The good news is that security advice doesn’t really change. Public WiFi is always thought to be untrustworthy and users should always use a VPN. And home and other WiFi access points under the user’s control should always be updated with latest ROM versions anyway.” he says.
So what can you do immediately? Make sure that all your devices are up to date, and that means all your devices including routers, TVs, any smart home equipment you might have.
Alex Hudson also makes an extremely good point in his blog which is that for the vast majority of us, our browsing habits and messages will still remain secure.
Any website that uses HTTPS (or a padlock symbol next to the web address) is completely secure. Luckily for the general public that’s pretty much all the websites we visit regularly.
In addition browsers like Chrome and Safari will warn you first if you’re about to visit an unencrypted website which should give you an extra layer of protection.
Remarkably, the one thing you actually don’t need to do is update your password on your router. This vulnerability goes well beyond a password so if you were to change it it would be for peace of mind only.
As mentioned earlier, there are likely to be a large number of updates coming for just about every device you own so keep an eye out and make sure you’re updating them as soon as you can.