Stay Secure at Home
Your PC’s and tablets at home contain personal and sensitive information about you and your family you would prefer to keep private. Even smart devices including fridges, security systems and media centres require network access and an account to use.
Keep your information protected by following these practices:
- Set a strong password or passphrase
- Use multiple accounts when setting up online accounts, devices and services
- Set your computer to lock when idle
- Keep any personal information stored on your computer encrypted
- Back up your devices regularly
- Set automatic updates to install
- Checked application updates regularly (Adobe, steam, iTunes)
- Enable inbuilt operating system firewalls on your computer
(important for devices that connect to public networks such as laptops and tablets)
- Minimise installing unneeded applications and remove those you infrequently use
- Uninstall web browser plugins and search bars
Security on Social Networking sites
As we try to stay connected more than ever with the use of social media and networking sites, it is important to be mindful about what and how much information we are sharing. Take these precautions when using these sites as they pose additional risks to your personal information.
- Set your security settings, so information is not set for public view
- Only log into a website or service by typing the address into your browser
- Set a complex password to your account that is not known by others
- Try not to share your password or PIN to your device where others can access your account
- Avoid third-party apps that require a sign-in with social media accounts. Create an account with the site instead
- Check terms and conditions of accounts before and after in case they change what information is considered public or private
Is your Wireless Secure?
You have set up your router, the lights are on, and your device connects to google – Done!
Nope, it does not stop there; keeping your network secure is ongoing. Your router is the gateway to internet access for your home and is unfortunately prone to attacks or unwanted access.
- Theft of bandwidth
- Access to your devices
- Loss or unapproved use of private information
- Use in criminal activity (illegal downloads, hacking)
Although tedious, taking care of cybersecurity at home is a necessary task. Protect all your networked devices; make some of these changes at home to make your network secure.
- Change the name of your default network (SSID)
This stops others knowing what type of router you have and possible default settings and vulnerabilities that can help gain access.
- Set a unique and robust passphrase to your router and networks
Remove any pre-set passwords and set something at least 20 characters long. Make it easy to remember but hard for someone else to crack with numbers and characters, full stops and spaces.
- Activate network encryption
Wireless networks come with multiple encryption languages (WEP, WPA and WPA2). Speak with your ISP to confirm what language you should enable for your router.
- Turn off wireless when you not home
Disable your wireless network if they are not used for extended periods. You can also remove Ethernet cables from devices to prevent unwanted access while you are away. This also protects your router from power surges.
- Keep your router in the middle of your house
This provides equal access to all rooms of your house and prevents the signal from travelling too far outside. Try to avoid windows so nothing is blocking the signal, and your network can't be accessed from outside.
- Set a passphrase for your administrator account
Remove the default administrator credentials. Most Wi-Fi routers come with default credentials such as “admin” and “password” which are easy to break into.
- Keep your router software up to date
This not always automatic so frequently check your administrator console for any new updates and security patches that may be applied to your device.
Try applying these advanced changes to your home network for advanced security.
- Change your default IP address
This uncommon option will make it more difficult for hackers to track your network activity. Look up steps for your specific device or contact your ISP for further assistance.
- Disable Remote Access
Turn off remote access so cybercriminals cannot access your routers privacy settings and connect to your home network. Make these changes by searching for remote access and following steps for your device.
- Add a firewall to your router
Hardware firewalls add an extra layer of security. Some routers have firewalls already installed. Check your device online to see if you can enable this feature on your device.