YOU might be surprised to learn how easy it is for someone to hack into a computer network. It is especially the home-networks that are in many cases practically defenceless to intruders. In offices and commercial establishments the people who put the networks together usually have some kind of expert knowledge of the domain, and so they are able to incorporate protective measures to prevent other computer users form snooping.
The home computer networks, which are now popular with a broad range of users, are usually created by newbies. Some users maybe unaware of the dangers they can encounter if they don’t properly secure their network. Others may think implementing all the elements of network security is too simply too cumbersome or confusing. But network security is more important than ever and it’s worth the effort to learn more about it.
If you are having an unprotected network at your home, you could be practically inviting malicious hackers, known as crackers, to access to your data. It might even allow someone to take control of your computers and use them to commit crimes like a Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS). Even if no one is interested in accessing your information, they might use your computer to access the Internet. There is a financial angle to it. All Internet service providers place caps on how much data you can download. If someone else is using your connection, you might get slapped with a huge bill for Internet that you didn’t even use.
Here are some precautions you can use for securing your home network:
Change the name of your router
It is usually the manufacturer that assigns you the default ID – called a Service Set Identifier” (SSIS) or “Extended Service Set Identifier” (ESSID). You should change it immediately. You should pick up a name that cannot be easily guessed by others.
Change the pre-set password on your router
When you are creating a new password, you should ensure that it is long and strong, and makes use of a mix of numbers, letters and symbols. After that you should keep changing your password at regular intervals. In case you have too many devices connected to your network, changing password on your router might seem too cumbersome exercise. But you should do it at least once every month.
Review security options
When choosing your router’s level of security, you should go for WPA2. In case, the WPA2 is unavailable, then you can pick up WPA. They are more secure than the WEP option.
Create a guest password
These days routers that allow us to set multiple passwords are available. You can use them to set a separate password through which your guests can use the network. If you have many visitors to your home, then it is a good idea to set up a guest network.
A firewall is a must to keep hackers from using your computer and sending out your personal information without your permission. While anti-virus software scans incoming email and files, a firewall is like a guard, watching for attempts to access your system and blocking communications with sources you don’t permit. If you are using a valid Operating System, or Security Software, then you already have a pre-installed firewall. But you have to ensure that this feature is turned on.
Protect all devices
Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware. You have to ensure that all the devices that are linked to your network have adequate amount of protection.