Wi-Fi at home: only one in ten households changes the default password

  • Only one in ten households changes the default password 
  • But: Almost no one completely does without protection for their own WLAN 
  • 1 February is change-your-password day

Berlin, 31 January 2024 - Germany's private households are increasingly cautious when it comes to Wi-Fi security - but not yet cautious enough. For example, 97 per cent secure their home network with a password, but the vast majority use the manufacturer's default password. Only 9 per cent have set an individual password. And just 3 per cent change this WLAN password regularly. These are the results of a representative survey of 1,134 people in Germany aged 18 and over, including 1,009 households with an internet connection. Overall, the use of Wi-Fi is commonplace: 90 per cent of Internet households connect their devices wirelessly. "Anyone with a router at home should take protective measures. An unsecured private WLAN can become a gateway for cyber criminals," says Bitkom CEO Dr Bernhard Rohleder. "To encrypt the internet connection, the Wi-Fi should at least be protected with a secure password." However, it is important not to use the default password on the back of the router. "Longer, complex passwords that contain a mix of letters, numbers and special characters are ideal." 1 February is Change Your Password Day and is a reminder to regularly change passwords online.

On average, 3 people per household use the Wi-Fi. Most consumers are restrictive when it comes to accessing their home network: 12% allow guests to use the Wi-Fi - and 4% let neighbours access it. In addition to a secure password, Bitkom also recommends regularly installing updates on the router - or even better: having updates carried out automatically. Anyone who regularly lets people outside their own household access their own Wi-Fi should also set up a guest network. Practical guidance for consumers: Since 2022, secure IT devices such as routers have carried the IT security label of the BSI (German Federal Office for Information Security).