Securing the home network is a step many users either skip doing, forget to do, or don’t know to do. I will admit back in my more primitive days I knew better but still choose to say “F* It” but what I back then failed to realize was I was leaving myself open for any and every one to have my information. Now that I am older, wiser, and nerdier I understand the importance of taking those 20-30 min and locking my network down, this allows me not only to keep me and my family information safe but also I allows me to get every bit of my money’s worth from my overpriced Internet Service Provider (ISP). Within in this post, I am going to provide a few tips on how to lock down your network.
Change Router Default Password
As most may know, the router that you use for your home network comes with a default Admin account. It is important that you change out the password to this account because majority of the time those passwords are universal, meaning they are on every other router for that particular ISP. Also make sure you make the password as strong as possible, if you need help please refer to my previous post “Let’s Talk Passwords”.
Change Wi-Fi Network Encryption
Whenever you set up new service you will want to make sure that you change your encryption settings to WPA2 w/AES, if it is not all ready. WPA AES is, right now, the gold standard network encryption which is why it replaced the more vulnerable older systems: WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wi-Fi- Protected Access).
A small caveat to this; WPA3 is out but will be pushed to the device later on this year, when it does that will be the new latest and greatest.
Enable Mac-Filtering on the router, by doing so you have added the little extra layer of protection by limiting who can connect to your network. Now, this does take a little bit of time, but it is effortless to do.
Keep Everything Up To Date
None of the hard work you just put in will matter if you don’t update your devices. Every patch that is pushed to a system is to fix a vulnerability, without that patch you’re just leaving the window open for anyone to get into your system. Since the majority of home systems are running on some version of Windows, every second Tuesday and sometimes the fourth Tuesday of the month is when Microsoft pushes patches out. Also, for those select few, if you are running on a Linux machine you may already know this, but you can search for your patches you can use the sudo apt-get upgrade on the command line an pull in all your patches. Not all patches will auto-update, so you will have to make sure that your devices stay within tolerance. Some of the devices included, but not limited to, your routers (need to be manually updated) and also your Internet Of Things (IoT), i.e., Smart TV, Smart Watches, Smart Car, Smart Couch, Smart Waffle, anything with smart in the title updates it.
This just being a general over view, can help secure your personal information for those people that hide in the dark park of the internet. But there are a lot more things that can be done to secure your service even more like changing your default IP, configuring the firewall, using a VPN, etc. For more information on different solutions feel free to send me an email, and I will walk you through step by step on what needs to be done.