Improving home network security is important to the overall health of your home network. The Internet is not a friendly place. There are the good parts of the Internet and the absolute evil parts of the Internet that you do not see. You have something called the dark web where the evil resides and is normally hidden from search engines. You have to use special software to access the dark web. That is where hackers get their ideas and information to do harm,
Hackers are lurking in the shadows and looking for vulnerabilities in your systems. Once they find a vulnerability they will exploit that vulnerability for financial gain.
Most hackers are patient and sometimes it takes days or months to work on getting into your home network. On your home network, you might have more than just computers and mobile devices. You might also have thermostats and other devices that are connected to your network. That opens more ways for a hacker to gain access to your network. The number of devices being enabled to connect to a network is going to increase exponentially over the next few years.
In previous posts, I have discussed the following:
As I mentioned in past posts, defense-in-depth is a cybersecurity strategy that takes a layered approach to securing systems. When thinking about cybersecurity in layers, you need to consider the following:
- Physical protection
- Data protection
- Apps protection
- Host/computer protection
- Perimeter protection
I will briefly review the first four strategies and focus on perimeter security. When securing your home, you use a layered approach without realizing it. You might have an alarm system, and locks to your doors and windows. You need to apply that mindset to the online world you live in too. You need to protect your physical devices from theft and damage at a minimum. You need to encrypt your data-at-rest and also your data-in-motion. You need to secure your apps with two-factor authentication at a minimum. There is a series of steps to secure your computer/host/iPhone.
Then, you have the perimeter of your home network which is your wireless router. This is the last step in making sure you have in improving your home network security.
Change the admin password
A lot of homeowners forget to change the default password on a wifi router which will allow hackers easy access to your network. You need to make sure the password is complex and secure.
Update the firmware periodically
The Wifi router has special software that allows it to do its job called firmware. Like apps, they need to be updated periodically from the vendor so that vulnerabilities and patches are installed to keep the router from opening holes.
Use a network firewall
A firewall is a network device that monitors and blocks unwanted traffic from your network. You can set up rules on the firewall to limit or loosen access to the network. Just like you have a host-based firewall on your computer, you need to have a network firewall on the router. Most routers have a firewall built into it today but you should always check and make. A firewall blocks unneeded traffic from your network. It adds another layer of protection.
Use an intrusion prevention system if available
A lot of newer wifi routers have the ability to monitor network traffic coming into your network. An intrusion prevention system’s job is to monitor and prevent attacks on the home network and provide alerts if anything is happening that you need to be aware of. The system will report what is blocked and why if you are curious about what it is doing.
Securing thermastats, door bells, and other IoT devices
Each of these Internet of Things (IoT) devices probably has an admin password and the ability to set up encryption on the devices. You never want to allow those devices to connect to your home network with nothing enabled That is a disaster. Hackers have used unsecured devices to gain access to a network and create havoc. These devices are very convenient and giving access to your network can be risky if you do not put the proper security in place when you set them up.
Checking for rogue devices
You should periodically check who is accessing your network. Why would you want to do this? Neighbors, hackers might be hijacking your network for their use and you want to prevent devices that you are not aware of from connecting to your network. Your router might have the ability to do this and you probably should consider only giving access to devices that you want to have access to your network. Sometimes hackers will sit outside and connect. Once they connect they are one step closer to stealing information from you.
The key to improving home network security is to be security-minded, make sure you are keeping things up to date, make sure unauthorized people are not accessing your network, securing all your devices who are connecting to your network. You should only give the wifi password to people you know and not strangers. A lot of this is just plain common sense.
In this post, we explored just a few things you can do to improve your home network security and protect your network from attackers. Of course, no security plan is ever 100% secure but the more barriers you put up to the attacker the less likely they will target you. So, stay diligent and security-minded and you will keep you and your family safe from unwanted visitors.
All it takes is one vulnerable device on your network before you are compromised. Hackers will use that vulnerability to create additional vulnerabilities to make access to your simpler for them. Some attacks do not occur for months so stay safe.
Thank you for reading this post. I look forward to your comments/suggestions. If you have any questions and/or comments please leave them below. It will be nice to hear from you.
I am DrM, founder of http://techninjamasters.com. I have been working, learning, teaching, coaching, consulting, writing in technology for over 40 years.