In today’s digital world, cyber security is more important than ever. From our banking details to our medical records, almost everything is stored online. But the convenience of the internet comes with some risks. Cyber threats are a real danger and it’s essential that you secure your home.
In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about cyber security at home.
What does cyber security mean and why is it important?
Cyber security is about protecting your digital assets, such as phones, laptops, smart devices, etc, from threats (the bad guys), however, with the right protection and knowledge, you can keep your data safe and prevent unauthorised access, ensuring your personal information, finances, and other digital assets are not stolen or misused.
Threats & attacks come in several forms, from hacking to malware, and most commonly phishing. Those emails that look like they are from the bank, or the phone calls you get from withheld numbers are all threats that you need to be aware of.
It’s important to understand the basics of how to protect yourself, and the steps you need to take to protect your home. Criminals are always looking for ways to access personal information and financial accounts, by taking the proper steps to secure your home from cyber threats, you can protect yourself and your family from becoming victims of cybercrime.
The basics of Cyber Security
The first step in securing your home is understanding some of the basics of Cyber Security and its components. It is a very broad field that is continually growing & everchanging. There are too many aspects to consider in this guide, but here are some of the most important areas to consider.
Network security is the practice of protecting networks, systems, and programs. It includes the use of firewalls (a piece of security software that monitors and filters incoming and outgoing network traffic), encryption (the process of converting information or data into a code) and other security measures to protect data and systems.
Data security is the practice of protecting data (you’ve probably noticed a trend by now), it includes the use of encryption, access controls, and other measures.
Application security (you guessed it!) is the practice of protecting applications, all those apps and extensions you download, come with their own vulnerabilities. Application security includes the use of secure coding practices, vulnerability scanning, and other measures.
Endpoints are devices that connect to and exchange information with a computer network, such as phones, laptops, tablets and even your smart watch.
How to secure your home network
Here are some steps you can take to secure your home network:
Change the default password:
The first and most important step in securing your home network is to change the default password. The default password is easy to guess and can be easily cracked by hackers, in fact you could probably guess the default password yourself! Make sure to use a unique, strong password, and if you struggle to come up with something, use an online password generator.
Enable two-factor authentication:
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts. This means that in addition to your username and password, you’ll also need to enter a code sent to your phone or email address to access your account. An easy way to add an extra layer of protection.
Make sure your router is up-to-date:
It’s important to make sure your router is running the latest firmware. This ensures that your router is secure and up-to-date with the latest security patches.
Install firewalls and Antivirus software:
Firewalls and Antivirus software are both an important part of your home network security. McAfee, Norton and Symantec, are all reputable brands, but with so many options out there it is worth doing your research and picking something that fits in with your budget. Windows Defender is also a great free option as well.
Disable remote access:
Remote access allows attackers to gain access to your network from outside your home, able to free roam on your devices undetected. To prevent this, make sure to disable remote access on your router.
Best practices for at-home Cyber Security hygiene
Good cyber security hygiene is a fundamental part of ensuring your home network is safe. It is all well and good buying the latest software, and changing the fault password, but without keeping these things up to date these measures can become useless.
Keep your software up-to-date
Software updates often contain important security patches and bug fixes that without updating can be exploited by hackers. Always check for updates on your laptops, tablets, phones, and WiFi router.
Use strong passwords
Weak passwords are easy to guess and can be easily cracked by hackers, don’t use any phrases that are too obvious, or sequential numbers and letters. Change passwords regularly, use a password generator and password manager to help you easily remember and change you passwords.
Be aware of phishing attacks
Phishing attacks are used by cyber criminals to steal personal information, usually in the form of emails and txt’s they may seem harmless at first but always double check, especially when asked to share your personal and private details.
Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure and can be used by hackers to gain access to your data. If you find yourself needing to use public Wifi, make sure to be cautious and only access secure websites. You may even want to consider using a VPN which will typically come with any Antivirus you install.
In conclusion, it’s essential to secure your home, cyber security isn’t just a problem for large corporations, but a problem for everyone who is connected to the internet. By understanding the basics and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can protect your home, ensuring your data is safe and secure.
Remember, cyber security is an ongoing process and it’s important to stay informed and up-to-date with the latest security measures. With the right protection, you can keep your data safe.