How to Secure your Home Network
A guide to securing your network in the 21st century
There are a number of ways that the owner of a home network can increase their security. These tips are all recommendations. There will always be more you can do to secure your tech, but these tips cover the basics. A few well-placed changes can go a long way to making sure you stay safe online.
This first tip focuses on your router because it is the center of good security in the home network. You can think of your router as a gateway guard to the internet. Keeping the bad guys out and making sure what can come into your network is the all-important job the home router performs. Your best security strategy will come from having a secure router.
- Check to make sure you do not have any ports exposed to the internet. Ports are places where other computers can connect to your router and send data. Today, unless you have a really good need, your router should not be accepting network connections unsolicited from the internet. There are several tools available that you can use to check if ports are open on your router. A community favorite is GRC’s SheildsUP. GRC has instructions to use the scanner.
- Does your router admin page have a secure password? The administrative page on your router should have a secure password. If you need to generate a secure password, try NetworkThreat’s secure password generator. This online tool uses code to generate random strings of characters that are super secure. If you want to check your existing password for security, you can use the NetworkThreats password security checker.
- Does your WiFi network have a good password? If you live in a populated area, your WiFi password is very important to make sure others do not hack into your network. Again, you can use the password tools above to perform the checks on a WiFi password just like a router password.
- Update all the computers on your network. Having a secure computer is key as you browse the internet. If your computer is Windows 10, it should update automatically. If you are using a Windows 7 PC, you might want to consider upgrading to Windows 10. Windows 7 PCs are no longer supported by Microsoft. Because Windows 7 is no longer being updated with security patches, it makes it a platform that hackers like to target.