What percentage of people in America who you think had their personal information compromised or stolen by hackers every year? Ten percent? Twenty? Try a whopping 47 percent! Hacking, credit card fraud, and identity theft that affects half of all Americans, so if it does not happen to you yet, do not assume you do not have to worry about it.
So how do you avoid becoming a statistic? Unfortunately, there is no internet security strategy is a sure thing. But there is a real, easy step you can take to help keep your home network safe.
- Do not Accept Default
When buying a wireless router, many users stick with the default network name. I’m looking at a wireless network in my neighborhood now, and half of them have the “Belkin” or “Linksys” in their names. This is why this is a bad idea: hackers can find a way to get into your network just by knowing the brand and type of router you have … a lot easier when your network name on public display.
Worse yet, many users never change the default admin password on their router. admin password is set by the manufacturer and are often not unique. Anyone who knows the default password (accessible with a simple Google search) can access your wireless router, and thus your network. Improving good internet security by changing your router’s admin password and network name. (Do not change your network name to the name of your family, either. It’s catnip for identity thieves.)
- Install and Maintain Antivirus Software
Microsoft has made users’ life a little easier with the built-in Internet security software such as Windows Defender. But the Defender does not catch everything. For maximum safety, have both an antivirus suite installed, as well as an anti-malware suite as Malwarebytes. Schedule virus and anti-malware scans to run automatically, preferably when you are not using your computer. Otherwise, use data center services. Most importantly, make sure that every computer in the home is protected. All it takes is one vulnerability to compromise the whole point of your home network.
closed ecosystem Apple makes their products less likely to get viruses and malware, but they are still not immune. It was good to establish best practices when using the Internet: stay away from dodgy sites, be vigilant with your password, and always keep your Internet security software is up to date.
- Use the Two-Factor Authentication
For those not familiar, two-factor (or multifactor) authentication is a security precaution that require a second means of verifying your identity when logging into the website. For example, when using two-factor authentication in Gmail, Google will send a text message to your phone with you must enter your code before completing the login. Without access to your smartphone, third parties can not access your account, even if they have your password. Not every site offers two-factor authentication – it was largely reserved for email, banking, cloud backup, and several other purposes – but you have to take advantage of it wherever you can.
I can speak from personal experience here. Over the years, I have opened a Gmail account, and I do not always monitor them all right. When the virus struck and compromised Heartbleed whole lot of passwords, I neglected to change all the mines in a timely manner. As a result, a person gets a hold of the mandate to one of my email accounts. Google tells me that someone had tried to login with my password, but I can not access my smartphone. Two-step authentication is all that saved me from losing the account. It was a valuable lesson in Internet safety, but fortunately, it did not cost anything. Learn from my mistakes!