How to Protect Your Home Network
In today’s day and age we have so many devices connected to the Internet, including laptops, smart phones, tablets, TVs and gaming consoles. Allowing your family to use the internet safely and securely is becoming a real concern. Hackers are trying to steal your personal information, access your bank account, your private emails, messages and not to mention they are monitoring your internet activity. Fear in the real world now includes fear in the online virtual jungle. Statistics show over 75% of internet users are concerned about internet security. While 100% of internet users should be concerned it is sadly not the case and hackers are very aware of this. We will outline some of the steps every user should follow to secure their home network.
The first step is to secure your home router. Your router is directly connected to the internet and is vulnerable the minute it turns on. Every router comes with a default configuration and a wireless feature. If you do not properly set these features you are vulnerable to being hacked.
One router we recommend is the ASUS RT-AC5300 Wireless AC5300 Tri-Band Gigabit Router using AiProtection Powered by Trend Micro(TM) provides multi-stage protection from vulnerability detection to protecting sensitive data.
If you have a smaller budget you can try this one; ASUS (RT-AC68U) Wireless-AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router.
We will not go into elaborate details but here are some ways to secure the router;
Change the pre-set password on your router to a strong password
Change the network name, or SSID and if possible do not broadcast it at all
Make sure the firmware is up to date
Enable WPA2 wireless encryption
Change the Router’s Local IP Address
Install Third-Party Firmwares.
Disable PING, Telnet, SSH, UPNP and HNAP
You use Gibson Research Corp.’s Shields Up port-scanning service to test if you have any vulnerabilities at https://www.grc.com/shieldsup.
Second step is to install antivirus utilities software and keep it up to date.
If you want even more protection then a full Internet Security Suite would be the best thing to install on all your devices connected to your network. A software security company will offer the antivirus but also integrate every security feature you can think of.
We recommend Bitdefender Total Security 2015. The product below available at Amazon will protect 3 devices for 3 straight years.
Another great piece of software is; Kaspersky Total Security 2016. Kaspersky offers the power of digital life protection for 5 devices with one year of updates. You can order the code to download directly online via Amazon.
The third step is to update your operating system and applications.
New malware, spyware, viruses and new online threats appear every day and threaten your computer or devices. Your operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux) are at risk if you do not keep them up to date. Use the latest version of all your software and this includes your internet browser.
Scan with your security software any new USB or external devices that you connect on your devices or network.
Many hackers prey on users not paying close attention to what they click on. Be very careful when clicking on any emails that may link directly to your banking information. Many hackers use Phishing techniques to capture your passwords. Look for addresses that are secured with ssl such as https://
Encrypt any important files or folders.
Protect your confidential information from unauthorized access or from data breaches. We recommend East-Tec SafeBit: Encrypt and Hide Any Folder, Protect Valuable Data From KeyLoggers, Viruses and Trojans.