Secure and Straightforward Home Network Setup.
Data loss and ransomware are 2 of the main issues people worry about when they consider their technology setup at home and wonder about how safe they actually are.
There are a number of things people can do to protect themselves that are fairly easy to set up and won’t break the bank.
Here are some things you can do to make sure you’re home technology environment is more secure:
- Ensure your devices are kept up to date with patching and security updates
- Use a good anti-virus/anti-malware tool
- Use cloud services to store your data
- Backup your data
- Secure your router
- Use a mail-filter
- Use a VPN
- Use multi-factor authentication wherever possible
- Use a password safe
- If you have children, consider parental control software
- BONUS: check your social media
- BONUS: monitor sites that provide information on current scams
- Maintain Your Devices
Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit in a system. The best way to minimise this risk is to ensure you keep all your devices on the latest software platform with all updates, especially security updates, installed. This applies to all devices regardless of operating system – android, iOS, windows, etc.
To further reduce the chance of attacked ensure you have a good anti-virus and anti-malware system installed and ensure it is up kept up to date. This will help secure you from new threats as they emerge.
- Use Cloud Services
Cloud services provide the ability to store your data away from your laptop or device reducing the risk of lost data, particularly if you have a hardware failure. It also makes it easier to access your information on multiple devices. The catch here is to ensure it’s secured correctly, which we’ll cover later.
- Backup Your Data
All your data should be backed up to ensure you can recover it in the event there is an issue. If you use cloud services to store data there are solutions available to do this for you as well. If you’re a OneDrive user Microsoft does not back-up your data.
- Secure Your Router
Your router is the front-door to your environment so it’s important to keep it secure and there are a number of ways this can be done.
We discussed the importance of this in a previous article here.
We will discuss this in more detail in future articles as well.
- Use A Mail-filter
Clicking on malicious links in emails is by far the most common source of attacks. Most email services provide some level or filtering and protection, but this can be easily enhanced by using a mail filter to check emails before they get to your inbox.
- Use A VPN
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have many advantages when it comes to security and privacy including masking your internet activity and location.
We discussed this in a previous article here.
- Use Multi-factor Authentication
Everyone is used to multi-factor security from online banking and other tools which require at least 2 methods of authentication to enable access. This should be used whenever possible to enhance your security so that if your password is compromised they still cannot get access.
- Use A Password Safe
People have a tendency to re-use the same password because it’s easier to remember. Password safes allow you to set unique, complex passwords for each different login (and we all have a lot these days) and it keeps track of them for you so you don’t have to remember them. Having multiple passwords is significantly more secure than having 1 password and if a password is compromised the damage is contained to only the app/s it is used for and not everything you have.
We discussed this in a previous article here.
- Parental Control Software
If you have children and you’re concerned about what they may see or access online then parental control software may help you.
We discussed some options in this space in a previous article here.
- BONUS: Check Your Social Media
People are often surprised by the amount of information available about them online. For this reason it’s important to review the information and settings you have across all the social media apps you use. ‘Hackers’ will gather information from multiple sources to gain a good overview of who you are and what you like so it’s best to put only the minimum amount of information out there. Also avoid the surveys and questions that appear no Facebook and other sites. They appear innocuous but they are designed to get you to reveal information that most people use for passwords e.g. favourite colour, pets first name, town you were born etc. All this information is available to people who can see it so be careful about what you post and limit the personal information available about you.
- BONUS: Monitor Sites for New Scams
There are several sites that provide information on current and new scams. They can be very helpful in providing insight into what to look out for and the tactics being used. The Australian government’s ScamWatch site is one example.
There is no guaranteed way to stop an attack, particularly if someone is determined but by ensuring you are as secure as possible reduces the chance an attack will be successful.
For more information please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org