Here's How to Protect your Home Network
By: Eddie Nudel
The majority of homes contain several devices that link to the internet including computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, TVs and gaming devices. Since most malware enters our devices through unsecured ports, it’s important to make sure that your whole network has up-to-date protection that keeps your system safe from viruses, spyware and Trojans. Here are three suggestions on how to secure your home network in the best possible way.
1. Network security software
One protected computer isn’t going to be enough to keep your whole network secure; one weak port or vulnerable device will expose your entire network to security dangers. To make sure all the links in your chain are as strong as possible, you will need to install antivirus software on each device.
Most antivirus software will come with a discounted offer for protecting more than one PC. The best thing to do is choose one antivirus application that you are happy with, and then purchase it for each of your computers. This should help ensure that the different computers in the network cooperate well with each other.
2. Network security hardware
When it comes to protecting your home network from internet security risks, the best option is a network-wide filter. This will save you from having to install filtering software on each of your mobile devices, with their different levels of security requirements.
If you have a number of devices, you are probably using a router to distribute the internet signal between these devices. Most routers come with a built in firewall and a basic level of website filtering which will allow you to block specific sites. An additional level of protective filtering is often available at extra cost, whereby you can block sites based on their category – for example, all sites with adult content (which often contain harmful data).
To strengthen the protection provided by your router, you must set up a password and enable encryption. Don’t rely on the default “password” that comes with the router as this will be either extremely simple or even left blank, and you don’t want to risk opening up access to all your settings and security keys. Once you have changed the password, look for the router’s “advanced settings” section. This is where you will be able to adjust and monitor the content passing through your router’s filter.
DNS-based filters such as OpenDNS are well suited to home networks and are also free, which saves you from purchasing extra software or hardware. OpenDNS will provide you with phishing and botnet protection, content filtering by category and it also lets you block specific sites.
Using OpenDNS is very simple. Once you have decided to create an account with them, they will talk you through the various stages of setup – how to configure your router with their DNS address and how to choose your filtering options.
Do you believe that “less is more”? When it comes to your network’s security, don’t take risks. Find out why antivirus and firewall software are not enough on their own.