How To Improve Cyber Security at Home
February 24, 2021
The modern Internet experience is altering our everyday lives. This is especially true in the case of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which has given rise to the home automation tools and smart devices we use today. Our lifestyles and our homes are becoming increasingly automated as our devices and smart home technology interact and share data with each other with little to no user intervention. While this makes it an exciting time to be an Internet user, it does come with one important caveat: security. Unfortunately, in several cases, a hacker would only need to enter one device connected to a user’s home network in order to gain access to personal information. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to protect your home network without having to worry about costly purchases or upgrades. Here are some ways you can bolster security for your home network and home automation devices.
Update Your Router
When checking or troubleshooting your router for any issue at all, making sure it’s not outdated should always be among the first steps you take. Using an older router can lead to several issues, including slower speeds. Another reason to make sure your router isn't outdated is security. A newer router will have the most current technology that will ensure your network and connected devices are as secure as possible. If you’re looking for a new router, several good ones can be found either online or at an electronics store near you at several price points. If you need help setting up or troubleshooting your router, we recommend contacting either the router's manufacturer or one of our trusted community integrators for help.
Create a Guest WiFi Network
You’re bound to have guests who want to connect to your WiFi when visiting your home. However, even friends or family who use your Internet connection can unknowingly put your devices or data at risk depending on their online activity. Most WiFi routers give you the ability to create a guest network, which can restrict what guests do on your network. A guest network can also make it so visitors can access your Internet connection without being able to see or access any of your devices. This means they can’t accidently introduce any malware to any of your devices or compromise them in any way.
Change Your Passwords
When you get a new router or device, do not keep the default password—change it before you do anything else. In the case of many store-bought routers, especially ones provided by an Internet Service Provider, anyone can search online for a list of default passwords for your router’s make and model. With this in mind, make sure you change your passwords without delay to something unique and hard to guess. A good guideline for this is to make sure it’s at least eight characters long, contains both capital and lowercase letters, and contains at least one number and special character. Another good idea is to make sure you don’t use the same password for every device, and to change your passwords regularly. You want it to be as hard as possible for any of your passwords to be discovered and compromised.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication can dramatically boost your security, no matter what you’re doing online. Two-factor authentication is a way in which an account or system can require a user to provide two types of information before being granted access. As opposed to simply requiring a username and password, several systems and accounts you use can be set to require an additional type of information to prove your identity, such as confirming it on a second device like your phone.
Keep Your Software Updated
Don’t put off software updates when you’re notified of them. This is especially important for smart home devices, which require updates or patches often. These patches will often contain the latest updates on information, security, or improvement.
Avoid Using Smart Home Devices on Public WiFi Networks
It may be convenient to check in on something at home while you're out. But this isn't something you want to do while on a public unsecured WiFi network that strangers can access as well. It’s always a better idea to wait until you're back at home or on a secured network.
Turn off Devices Not in Use
If you’re not using a specific device, it might be a good idea to power it down. This is especially important if you’re leaving home for a while. If you completely turn off an unused device, there is no way for a hacker to access or use it.
Use Biometric Authorization When Possible
Biometric authorization is becoming a very popular way to secure your accounts, devices, and information. It uses physical or behavioral characteristics like your fingerprint, facial features, or voice, and is much harder to fake than any other kind of authorization method.
Make Sure Firewall and Security Software Is Installed
Installing an antivirus and security software and updating it whenever necessary is a must for protecting your network, devices, and information. It’s also important to make sure that your firewall is turned on at all times.
With all of these steps to protect your home network and smart home devices, you can enjoy all the benefits of IoT and home automation technology safely. If you’re looking for blazing fast fiber Internet speeds that can enable you to use all of your smart home devices, check your address on our website and find out how to get Tachus into your community.