Your home networks face attacks daily from Hackers. If you want a secure home network, you can begin by following these simple steps. And you don’t need to work in the IT sector or have skills like a geek. It will surprise you to learn just how many threats your network faces each day.
More so, the good news is you can prevent most of them and have a secure home network. And you don’t need to be tech-savvy to follow these simple best practices.
Why Bother Having A Secure Home Network?
Alternatively, A lot of folks don’t think twice when it comes to internet security. It’s always an afterthought and often when it’s too late. You don’t need to learn the hard way when it comes to a secure home network. Let’s face it. Your home network secures all of your data, including credit cards and personal information. You don’t want that to fall into the wrong hands.
Moreover, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) doesn’t secure your home computer very efficiently. And this can leave gaps in your router and WIFI settings allowing hackers to gain access. With online attacks like ransomware, DoS (Denial-of-Service), phishing and Malware attacks, you need to have a secure home network.
Millions of us shop online daily, and our credit card information isn’t as secure as you may think. Nowadays, even our medical records are at risk for comprise. And because all of our data, credit cards, and medical information are out there, you should do your best to protect it and secure your home network.
1 – Always Use Strong Passwords
Recent data shows that 83% of Americans don’t bother following the recommended password criteria when creating passwords. This data reveals a lot about our level of patience and tolerance for internet passwords.
Even though we know how essential it is to have secure passwords, most of us don’t bother. More importantly, weak passwords account for a huge percentage of data breaches and stolen credit card information.
When creating passwords, always follow the recommended criteria for a secure home network:
- Use numbers, special characters, upper and lower case letters.
- Do not create passwords that are at least ten characters long.
- Avoid using first names, last names, pet names, or anniversaries.
- Don’t use birthdays of you or a family member.
- Celebrity names account for over 3% of passwords, and you should avoid them.
- At least 5% of created passwords include a home address. It would be best if you avoided this unless it has other encrypted data.
Cybercriminals know what to look for and how to hack passwords every easily. And with the advent of the Dark Web, they have access to your data easily. Hackers use brute force to guess their way into your home network. Remember, the longer and more characters in your password, the harder it is for them to gain access.
However, it’s not only about strong passwords. You should change your password regularly as well. And that means all of your passwords, not just your network password. You can ensure all passwords vary by using the view saved passwords Chrome feature before removing and storing them in a password keeper app.
Additionally, Chrome will nag you with a popup about your passwords. And if they see a data breach on a site or app with your compromised passwords. Next time, don’t close the popup and ignore it. It’s alerting you for a good reason.
2 – Use A VPN For A Secure Home Network
In the past few years, we hear much talk about using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for a secure home network, and rightfully so. Since VPNs encrypt your online data to keep it from prying eyes, it sounds like a good idea to have one.
However, you might experience some issues with the communication of your devices, so you’ll need one with split tunneling. VPNs with split-tunneling will allow you to choose which apps and sometimes websites don’t need an encrypted connection.
Plus, another big threat comes from ISPs and companies selling your personal information and data. While the laws change to protect us, this tactic continues. ISPs in the US have held the right to sell consumer data without asking for permission since 2017, which is why a VPN is now necessary.
3 – Router Admin Login Details
When it comes to a secure home network, hackers aren’t the only threats you face. A friend of a friend that you let use your WIFI once can also cause problems for you. That’s because once someone connects to your network, they can choose to access your router’s admin console and make changes without your consent or knowledge.
Typically, many folks keep the default router password and don’t bother to change it. Hackers wait for such opportunities to jump right on board and hack your network. That’s why it’s important to change these details as soon as you get your router. Even with the best mesh router network, hackers will find you if you don’t change the password.
If you don’t change your router console login details, a malicious user can lock you out of your network or let hackers in by overriding your security measures. If you don’t know how to change your router password, reach out to the company’s help documents on their website. Changing your router’s password is easy and the first thing you need to do.
4 – MAC Address Filtering
You will find a feature typically labeled MAC Address Filtering or MAC Filtering in your router’s admin console menu. You can use this feature to decide what devices you let into your network and stop devices that you don’t know from connecting.
More so, all devices have a unique MAC address to identify their network cards. And these addresses are different across the globe, not just nationally or regionally. These addresses have a mix of six numbers and letters separated by colons.
Additionally, you’ll find the MAC address under network settings and by entering ipconfig /all on Window’s Command Prompt on your mobile devices. If you don’t feel secure searching for these settings yourself, you might consider hiring a tech specialist to help.
However, you must bear in mind that this will only prevent non-technical people with unauthorized access to your network’s login data, not serious hackers.
5 – Firmware Updates
Having secure firmware running on your router is essential to keeping hackers away from your home network. Unfortunately, this type of software can also have vulnerabilities. The bad news about such vulnerabilities is hackers can see and exploit them before manufacturers start rolling out security patches.
What’s worse about this situation is that there are a lot of routers in the market that don’t download firmware updates automatically. Also, this can mean that there is a time when your network is vulnerable to attacks before you manually download the patch.
To ensure that you have the safest system running on your router, you need to routinely check for updates on your manufacturer’s website, especially after news of an exploit. You can find your firmware updates on your router’s homepage or in your router settings.
Secure Your Home Network Today!
When it comes to a secure home network, taking care of the smallest vulnerabilities can safeguard you from bigger threats. Having an advanced home network system isn’t going to help if you don’t cover some crucial basics.
More so, making full use of your system’s security features is equally important to ensure that you do your best to stop various exploits. All in all, being a conscious user who’s aware of online and offline dangers that face home networks will help you stay safe.
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