Home Cyber Security Tips
Ways to make your home network more secure!
Cyber-attacks are more prevalent than ever. With more of our devices connecting to the internet of things to be useful; having a secure home network is of utmost importance. There are many ways to accomplish this even after you have done everything you can to keep the bad guys out. We will go over a few things that can increase your security inside and out!
- Change the default password on your router
The router can be the first line of defense. In simple terms, its primary job is to get traffic delivered to the right device between networks. It also keeps unwanted traffic out if it comes from a random source and was not requested. Many of today's routers are advanced enough to have features that go beyond that, but for this blog we will focus in on making sure the device itself is secure!
Routers come configured with a default username and password. If this remains unchanged after plugging in the device anybody can log in and change the settings! An example of this is when unwanted traffic knocks on your door the router can say "No thanks! I did not request you to be here!". Not changing the default password can result in somebody with bad intentions changing the settings to let themselves in whenever they want!
When creating a new password, make sure it is long and uses a mix of numbers, letters and symbols. This is one step in keeping malicious people out of your home network!
- Keep your software and devices up to date
Overtime software and devices receive updates. The things contained in these updates are additional features, bug fixes, and security patches! Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system is part of having a great defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.
Sometimes devices and software do this automatically. If this is the case you're all set! Devices may have settings where you can check for updates manually. For example: iPhone software can be updated by tapping Settings, navigating to General, and tapping Software Update to check and see if there are any available updates. If you cannot find it in your device chances are it may not need any updates at all.
- Review your wireless network security options
Wireless networks are a common piece of technology to have in a home. Laptops, tablets, and streaming devices can connect to the internet using a wireless network! Wireless network security is very important because it can extend beyond the home. This can allow somebody to connect directly to your network outside your home if it is not secured properly!
Wireless security comes in many forms. The most common are WEP, WPA, and WPA2 encryption. These security protocols encrypt the traffic sent to and from wireless devices. Without getting to techy; WEP is the least secure method and not recommended to be used. WPA is more secure than WEP. WPA2 is more secure than both WPA and WEP! We won't go into depth on encryption methods today but just understanding which is preferred is a step in the right direction!
If you are using WEP we recommend updating your security options to utilize WPA2 if possible. Creating a strong passphrase is also very important. Using a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols is preferred. This will increase the security of your wireless network and prevent malicious people from hopping on and seeing your devices!