The number of devices with access to the Internet is increasing exponentially. Security threats are not only affecting businesses, but homes as well. It is not difficult for a cybercriminal to hack a home router. Personal information such as Social Security numbers and credit card numbers can be obtained, and there are millions of cases of identity theft every year. Here are ways you can protect your identity, and home network security.
Encrypt the Wi-Fi Network
If you add password access to the network, then only the people you know/trust can access it. There are several industry security standards. Make sure your network uses WPA2, WEP, or WPA; the last is even better because it’s compatible with the most devices. Also, pay attention to the password you choose. It should be at least eight characters and easy to remember and type on a small smartphone keyboard. At the same time, it should be hard to guess.
Keep It Secure from the Outside
Businesses often have the advantage of sophisticated firewalls to protect their network systems and data. Most consumer Wifi routers don’t, but you can consult with network security software companies, There are a few that offer home licensing options. A commercial-grade firewall will work as well.
Pay Regards to Settings and Features
Many home network users don’t change the default settings. Set by the vendor, these are publicly accessible. Setup may be easier and faster by leaving the defaults, but unauthorized users will be able to easily access your router. Boost your security by changing the default IP address and log-in password. Also, beware of remote access features. If the router can be accessed over the Internet, don’t activate this function unless you really need to, and use the proper restrictions (such as HTTPS) if you do.
A secure gateway helps a great deal. A baseline will help you recognize network traffic that is deemed safe. Traffic analysis and application-level reporting features aren’t mainstream with consumer routers. If you can add these, then you can track what devices are connecting to the network and accessing its resources.
Just like computer software, routers should be updated. People often avoid updating software because they think it is time-consuming and could cause problems. Not doing so is what leads to trouble. It should take only a few minutes to download new router firmware, which can improve its performance and security. Also, back up its settings in case the new firmware restores the factory default settings.
Always Log Out
Making changes via the router’s Web interface is easy enough, but you’ll leave the network vulnerable by not logging out when you’re done. If there’s a log-out button, click it; if not, just close the browser. If you are continuously logged in, an attacker can easily access network settings if they’ve already hacked your computer.
Turn Off Network Access When Not Necessary
Just because they can be, devices don’t always have to be connected to the Internet. Try disabling network access to these. The Internet of Things won’t collapse if some of your things aren’t connected. You could also put such devices on a separate local network. If a hacker breaches it, then the issue will be quarantined.
Other steps to protecting your home network include protecting the network and the individual phones, laptops, and other connected devices, for multi-layered protection while also using backup solutions. Features such as television cameras and voice functions on remote controls can be hacker targets, so turning these off can help. By taking the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively protect your home network.