It is estimated that cyber-crime steals about $450 billion from the global economy each year. Having your identity stolen can be one of the most stressful and life-changing experiences.
If you work from home, then finding a way to properly secure your network is something you should view as a priority. Failing to take cyber-security seriously will generally lead to a number of problems.
Trying to secure home network setups without the help of a professional can be difficult. If you have a lot of sensitive information on your computer, then allowing IT professionals to help you secure it is a must.
The following are some of the things you can do to secure your home network.
Secure Home Networks by Changing Default Usernames and Passwords
Most of the wireless routers you purchase will come with a default username and password. Some people are unaware that changing this default information is essential when trying to keep hackers at bay.
A router allows you to connect each of the user points in your home to the Internet. Failing to change default usernames and passwords will allow hackers to infiltrate your network.
While most homeowners do a significant amount of work to increase physical home security, many individuals fail to realize the importance of cyber-security. Instead of having to deal with the fallout from a virus or data hack, you need to work on developing iron-clad usernames and passwords.
Using Encryption Is a Good Idea
When buying a new router for your home, be sure to check and see what type of encryption features it has. Most of the modern routers and Wi-Fi equipment on the market will be equipped with this technology.
By enabling network encryption, you can scramble and mask all of the data on your computer. By doing this, you will make it harder for a cyber-criminal to use the information they find on your network.
If you are looking to bulk up the security your network has, investing in third-party encryption software is a must. While this software may be a bit costly, it is definitely worth the investment.
Change the Name of Your Home Network
As previously mentioned, most Wi-Fi equipment will come with default information stored on it. Not only will your username and password be the defaults, but the network name will also be as well.
While changing the name of your network won’t thwart a hacker’s attempt at infiltrating your network, you should still customize this information. Most hackers will view default network names as a sign that a homeowner does not know how to secure their network.
Instead of making yourself an open target for a cyber-criminal, you need to change all of the default information on your Wi-Fi equipment. Who knows? Changing the name of your network could be the piece of information that motivates a hacker to avoid messing with your information.
Disable Your Router’s SSID Broadcast Feature
Typically, a router will broadcast the name of a network every couple of seconds. This generally is referred to as SSID broadcasting.
This feature is generally used by businesses who are trying to offer shoppers or patrons free Wi-Fi. However, keeping this featured enabled is a bad idea for a homeowner.
In essence, this feature will broadcast the existence of your network to people around your area. While this may not seem like a bad thing, it can be if the individual seeing this information is a cybercriminal.
The key to avoid network data hacks is keeping as much of your information hidden as possible. By disabling the SSID broadcast feature on your router, you can mask the existence of your network and keep hackers away with ease.
Avoid Auto-Connecting to Open Networks
Did you realize that most computers have a feature that allows them to connect to open Wi-Fi networks around where they are? In most cases, this connection will happen without the user of the computer being made aware.
As any IT professional will tell you, an open network is a breeding ground for viruses and cyber-crime. This means that you will be putting yourself at risk by keeping the auto-connect feature on.
If you do have to manually connect to an open network, you need to click the “forget this network” option on your computer when you have disconnected. Failing to do this will lead to the computer automatically connecting to this network again without notifying you.
Simple Security Software Is Your Friend
Some homeowners make the mistake of investing in security software that is far too complicated for them to operate. Generally, this leads to lots of mistakes being made, which can put your network in jeopardy of being hacked.
When choosing security software for home use, focus on getting a program that is both effective and easy to understand. The security software you choose should be equipped with firewalls and a virus scan feature.
Routinely scanning your computer for viruses is essential when trying to avoid hacks. If potential threats are found, the security software will quarantine the files, which reduces the danger they pose.
Properly Position Your Access Points
One of the hardest decisions you will have to make when getting a new router is where to put it. Ideally, you want to put this piece of equipment in a centralized location.
The further you are from the access point, the harder you will find it to get a strong signal. The last thing you want is for your neighbors to be able to get a better signal from your router than you are. If you have a large home, getting a Wi-Fi booster may be a good idea.
Consult with Professionals
If you are unsure about how to secure home networks, consulting with IT professionals may be a good idea. These professionals can educate you on the dangers of an unsecured network and will help you choose the right tools to keep hackers away.
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