With every passing year, we keep acquiring more devices in the home. Every iPad, iPhone and Internet enabled TV needs to get online. Just as we are increasing the number of devices on our home networks, we are looking at more threats to users from malicious hackers.
There are a few simple things you can do to ensure you keep you and your family secure while enjoying the pleasures of the Internet at home. Most of these things are simple enough to do your self, but some of them may require the use of a professional IT service.
Wireless Network password: Your home router creates a ‘network’ to allow devices to talk to each other and get on the Internet. If your WiFi network does not have a password, it’s like keeping your front door open and hoping for the best. You are inviting any neighbor within range to hop on the network to engage in illegal activities or try to hack into the devices in your home. It is recommended that you enable a “WPA2 Personal AES or TKIP” password on your home router device. Choose a password that will not be easy to guess, but is easy to share with others.
Anti-virus: All Windows computers should have anti-virus installed. While free versions of anti-virus will work if you have to, we recommend using a paid version. Here are some of the recommendations for great anti-viruses: Kaspersky, Web Root, Avast! and AVG. If the constant scanning slows down your computer too much, you can change the schedules so the scans only run once a day during some down time. At this point, it is not necessary for Macs to have anti-virus, but rest assured there are hundreds of malicious programs out there designed to attack the Mac. Given time, they will need the same protection as the Windows world
Passcode locks: Just about every mobile device will have a passcode lock option in ‘settings’. It might surprise you to know how much information you are carrying around on your mobile device. This info needs to be protected because given enough time, you will encounter a situation where you have lost the device or it’s stolen. That being said, there are plenty of honest people in the world. If you lose your phone and you have a passcode lock, there is no way for an honest person to return your phone to you. This is why we recommend that you take a photo of your business card and set it to be your lock screen. This way, the person who finds the phone has the option to give you a call or send you an email to return the phone. It might not be as cute as a photo of your lovely dog, but it just might save you some headaches.