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Many people think that cybercriminals target financial institutions or businesses for their financial information with various cyber threats, but the truth is that any kind of personal information is valuable.
Viruses, worms, spyware, and ransomware are just a few things that can harm your computer. With smart home technologies and Internet of Things (IoT) devices becoming ubiquitous in our homes, the problem is that on their own they lack any security protocols, with practically anyone with a little know-how able to access them and your network.
In our post on ‘The Essentials of Creating Your Own Smart Home Network’, one of the solutions discussed is to have your devices on secured networks, to prevent any intruders. There are many other ways you can protect your home, so let’s have a look at a few.
Online Security Courses
With a significant increase in the number of cyber threats across the world, more people are looking to online courses to learn basic security practices as well as brush up on more advanced network security aspects. Tech Radar’s list of online courses highlights free options from the Department of Homeland Security and paid options from reputable online providers like Udemy.
While their courses won’t break the bank, they are beneficial to anyone wanting to know the ins and outs of online security. Leading cybersecurity expert Nathan House has several network security courses on Udemy that help people improve their home protection, privacy, and anonymity. These courses are beneficial to anyone from cybersecurity enthusiasts to beginners.
Anti-Virus & Anti-Malware
Anti-virus and anti-malware software is important because it’s a vital step in ensuring your network remains protected from viruses and malicious programs by actively scanning your system. When shopping around for quality software look for a reputable name brand that offers a range of features and regular updates. Good, reputable anti-virus programs generally include services from Norton, McAfee and even free options from TotalAv.
While some of the anti-virus packages will have anti-malware features, getting an additional, dedicated anti-malware program is highly recommended. Malwarebytes offers one of the best free anti-malware scanners on the market and also a paid suite that has real-time anti-virus and anti-malware options for PCs and mobile devices.
Use a Secure Network Protocol
While consumer routers and firewalls come with several security protocols, many out-of-the-box configurations offer easy but insecure access. The most common, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) was developed to provide the same level of security as wired networks, however, it has several security flaws and is easily broken.
Instead, it’s a good idea to configure your router with a stronger security protocol and Costea Lestoc previously mentioned how the best network protocol is WPA2. It uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which the U.S. government uses to encrypt information classified as top secret, and together with a strong encryption password will help protect your network.
Use a VPN
While the above recommendations are a must, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will encrypt all traffic leaving your devices until it arrives at its destination. Higher-end network routers will come with a built-in VPN option, which if you have, we strongly recommend using. Software VPNs, on the other hand, can run on a computer or any mobile device anywhere you are and are a particularly good idea when using a public Wi-Fi network.
If a hacker manages to breach your connection and access your internet data all they will get is encrypted information. How to Geek’s guide to VPNs recommends software solutions like ExpressVPN, due to their fast servers and as a bonus it allows you to access geographically restricted content from Netflix and other online providers.