There is a common misconception that home security networks will never be targeted by cyber criminals, because they are too small. Unfortunately, in many cases cyber criminals do not target individuals, they target networks that are easy to access.
A home network security connects devices including your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, computer, to each other and to the internet via a wireless router. This network allows you to stream videos, do research or work, shop online, and connect with friends and family. It just makes life a bit easier.
One of the ways that cyber criminals can access your network, is by logging on with default usernames and passwords, that comes with most new mobile devices. They can then use this information to access your data, use your network to perform malicious activities, or install software that could encrypt your device.
It is therefore essential that you take the necessary precautions to ensure that your network and devices remain safe.
Follow these useful tips
- Ensure all your software and applications are regularly updated.
- Remove software and applications that you no longer use.
- Check if your devices or network are still using the default factory settings, and immediately change these.
- Download and install an anti-virus, and keep it up-to-date to ensure that your devices and network are secure.
- Check if your Wi-Fi router comes preinstalled with a built-in firewall. If so, ensure that it is enabled to prevent any threats from accessing the network. Additionally, check if devices that run Windows or Linux have a pre-installed firewall, and enable it, if you haven’t done this as yet.
- Frequently back up your data on your devices to ensure that you have a copy of your data. This will come in handy should your device be stolen, or your device and network be compromised.
- Be wary of phishing emails that require you to log on to a website, or provide your username and password.
- Don't ever reply to emails that request personal information – especially usernames and passwords.
- NEVER share your password with anyone –Do not open attachments unless you can verify the sender and the nature of the attachment.
- Don't open emails of unknown origin.
- Don't click on links in emails if you cannot recognise where the link directs you.
- Don't reply to spammers asking them to remove you from their mailing list. By replying, you are confirming your email address as valid and will only encourage more spam.
- Don't forward chain letters or marketing material.
- Don't respond to emailed competitions.
- Use strong passwords that will make it complicated for cyber criminals to access your information.
- Never reuse passwords for multiple services, systems or accounts.
- Use a password manager if you struggle to remember passwords.
- Create long and strong passwords that are a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.
- Avoid using personal information such as names, dates, or any public information that cyber criminals can find out about. Rather use the lyric of your favourite song, or a phrase from a book or movie.