With cybercriminals becoming craftier by the minute, every security-conscious individual needs to bolster their defenses. Proper security measures are particularly important when it comes to protecting your home network. An unguarded network represents a goldmine to hackers, data thieves, and other online crooks, and failing to safeguard your home network can have a plethora of undesirable consequences. In the interest of keeping your network secure and your data out of the wrong hands, make a point of avoiding the following oversights.
Not Utilizing Network Security Software
Dependable security software is an absolute must for anyone who takes network safety seriously. A smartly-designed network antivirus program can effectively keep your home network safe from an ever-expanding array of cyberthreats. Unfortunately, a sizable number of households don’t recognize the benefits of good security software until it’s too late. Making a relatively small investment now can protect your home network and save you a tremendous amount of stress down the line. To keep your network safe from viruses, malware, hackers, and a bevy of other threats, seek out a highly-rated, user-friendly security program.
Not Updating Security Software and Router Firmware
To ensure maximum protection, you’ll need to update both your dedicated security software and your router’s firmware on a regular basis. For best results, it’s imperative that you install updates ASAP instead of allowing them to pile up. Since a fair portion of these updates is meant to provide protection from new and emerging threats, failure to install them in a timely manner only serves to leave your network more vulnerable. While it’s true that installing updates as they become available can be a bit cumbersome, any minor inconvenience you endure is well worth the additional level of protection you’ll enjoy. If you can’t be depended on to immediately install important updates, you can take the pressure off yourself by enabling your router and security software to install them automatically.
Failure to Use Password Protection
Home networks that lack password protection are a dime a dozen. Not only does a lack of password protection make your network more accessible to cybercriminals, it practically guarantees that neighbors and passersby will piggyback off your Wi-Fi. There’s no better way to roll out the welcome mat for third parties than refusing to password-protect your home network.
In addition to enabling password protection, make a point of creating a complex, impossible-to-guess password. Avoid using common expressions, turns of phrase and number combinations, and take care to change your password on a semi-consistent basis. Furthermore, be very selective about the people with whom you share your network password.
Refusal to Change Log-in Credentials
Refusing to change your router’s default log-in credentials can result in cybercriminals easily gaining access to your network. If a third party becomes aware of your router’s manufacturer and model number, they can easily look up its default admin credentials, enabling them to gain administrative access and run wild. However, you can easily nip this issue in the bud by changing the preset log-in credentials for your router’s administration menu. If you’re unclear on how to carry out this task, consult your router’s owner’s manual or fire up your favorite search engine.
Using the Default Network Name
As previously established, cybercriminals can do quite a bit if they’re able to ascertain the type of router you own. To prevent them from acquiring this information, you’ll need to change your network’s default name. Many preset names reveal the router’s manufacturer, which is a valuable tidbit for third parties. With this in mind, create a network name that’s inconspicuous and doesn’t arouse attention. When creating a new name for your home network, avoid revealing any personal information, like your family name or address, or using language designed to catch people’s interest.
An unsecured home network is a veritable treasure trove for seasoned cybercriminals. With disreputable characters constantly finding new ways to invade your privacy and make off with your data, the worst thing you can do is make their job easier. Fortunately, making your home network inaccessible to nefarious third parties doesn’t have to put you through your paces or place a strain on your finances. Anyone looking to beef up their network’s digital defenses would be wise to steer clear of the mistakes discussed above.