With cyber criminals working around the clock to find new avenues of hacking, data theft and malware propagation, every internet user needs to remain on alert. While staying safe online is much easier than many people make it look, a number of us can’t even be troubled to do the bare minimum. Such a lax attitude towards online safety can be particularly detrimental to network security. If savvy cyber criminals are able to find their way into your home network, they can compromise your privacy and effectively turn your whole world upside down. To ensure that this never comes to pass, make a point of avoiding the following network security blunders.
Using Your Router’s Default Logins
Most routers come with preloaded logins for their respective administration menus. While default logins can certainly be convenient, they’re not exactly conducive to safety. If a dedicated cyber criminal is able to ascertain the type of router you own, they may attempt to access the administration menu using the preloaded logins. You can nip this issue in the bud by changing your router’s login credentials ASAP. Not only is this easy to do, it stands to increase your network security tenfold. If you’re unclear on how to perform this task with your particular router, consult the device’s owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website.
Using Your Router’s Default SSID
In addition to changing your router’s default logins, it’s strongly recommended that you change the default SSID as well. For many home networks, the default SSID is the router’s manufacturer and model, and as previously stated, cyber criminals can do a lot with this info. With this in mind, give your home network an inconspicuous, unassuming name that won’t elicit unwanted attention. Better yet, for maximum effectiveness, turn off SSID broadcasting altogether, as there’s no reason the public needs to be aware of your home network’s existence. This is one of the best ways to ensure that unwelcome visitors and unfamiliar devices stay off your home network.
Not Investing in Network Security Tools
In the ongoing quest for online safety, you’re sure to be well-served by dependable network security tools. Software and hardware designed to check home network security can identify and address potential threats in real time. For example, a plug-and-protect network security box from Trend Micro can effectively shield every device connected to your home network from a broad assortment of cyber threats, including hackers, phishers, ransomware and suspicious remote connections. In the interest of achieving maximum security, consider complementing your network security tools with top-tier antivirus software.
Failing to Password Protect Your Network
When it comes to keeping your home network safe, password protection is the absolute least you can do. Allowing people to log on to your home network without a password is practically guaranteed to result in security breaches and various other safety issues. In fact, some cyber criminals exclusively target networks that lack proper password protection. Additionally, make sure your network password is complex and multilayered, as common phrases and number combinations are easy for many hackers to guess. You should also be very selective about the people with whom you share this password and make a point of changing it on a semi-regular basis.
Putting Pertinent Updates on the Backburner
In order to get the best possible performance out of your router, operating system and security tools, you’ll need to install updates as they become available. Many of these updates are created in response to emerging security threats, and the longer you avoid installing them, the more vulnerable your home network becomes. As such, you’ll need to install system and software updates, as well as firmware updates for your router, posthaste. If manually installing these updates seems like too much of a hassle, simply set the aforementioned hardware and software to download and install updates automatically.
Having your home network infiltrated by cyber criminals can have a number of devastating consequences. If financial documents, important passwords or sensitive personal information fall into the wrong hands, your entire life is liable to seem like it’s governed by chaos. Fortunately, a little bit of security knowhow and forward thinking can go a long way in fortifying your home network and preserving your online safety.