Do you have Wi-Fi at home? Do you have at least one device that is connected to the Internet? Are your friends or relatives coming to see you? Now the most important question: Are you sure you are fully protected? Get started and answer these questions; no one is watching you, or maybe if? We will come back to this later in this article.
1. Protect your computer
Perhaps the easiest step to start controlling your home security is to protect the devices you own. Your computers, tablets, and phones are all likely to be attacked by malicious infections that are on the Internet, or in applications that look deceptive, or that are free but are actually a trap.
The best advice we can give you to protect your devices, is to install a good antivirus solution. The options are not lacking, since you can choose between several effective products analyzed by trusted independent professionals. There are big differences in terms of price, and some are even free.
In addition to having a good antivirus, it is generally advisable to follow this general rule: download applications from official sources such as Google Play, the Apple App Store, or the website of the application. If you do not do this, you may download a slightly different version of the application you are looking for, with additional options such as populating your ads screen, spying on you, and mining crypto-currencies without your knowledge, or even stealing IDs that allow you to log in to your bank account.
2.Protect your Wi-Fi
When you have installed an Internet connection at home, your provider has probably used its own modem/router combination, given a name to your home network, and set up a password for you. If you have not changed the network name and set a new password, it’s time for you to do so. The main reason is that you pay to receive this service, so why allow another person to enjoy it?
Most routers have a default username and password, such as admin/admin or admin/password. If you are simply looking for the model of your router on Google, you will get this information by default. From there, they can, or you can, rename the network, set a new password, and change all available options. Do it immediately. As long as you are there, make sure that the firmware of the router is up to date.
You should also set up a guest Wi-Fi network for your friends and family when they come to see you. Mine is called “FBI Van”, just to annoy people, and I changed the password. It is obvious that I will not mention the name of my Wi-Fi here.
3. Protect your smart devices/the Internet of Things
If your Internet of Things (IoT) devices are connected to your network, I recommend that you connect them to your guest Wi-Fi network rather than the primary network, and change the default passwords. You may be wondering why you should change the password.
The answer is the same as the problem with the router default settings we talked about before. Most devices of the Internet of Things have a default password, easy to find by doing a simple search on Google. Get started, judge for yourself, and then change your passwords.
This problem is particularly worrying because many cyber criminals have infected these devices, and add them to botnets at an alarming rate .
4. Blind your eyes to Big Brother
We asked you earlier in this article if anyone saw you. It was kind of a joke, but it would be really wise to be careful when it comes to the webcam on your computer. Many websites and apps ask you to let them access your camera and microphone. How do they use them? You can never really know it, but it’s possible that a person somewhere in the world is really looking at you.
How to avoid this situation? You can stick a piece of paper on your camera, or buy a webcam protector that you will only remove when you want to use your camera. Good antivirus also offers you to restrict access to your camera, an option I strongly recommend you use.
5. Stay away from USB stick threats
There is another threat that we should mention, since it affects businesses, but also ordinary people like you and me.
Have you ever found a USB key on a parking spot, in a park, in the lobby of an office, or anywhere else? With the impressive amount of things and gifts we find at trade shows, these devices are everywhere, and it would not be worrying to find one.
Now, if you find one, should you connect it to your computer and find out what’s in it? The answer is quite short: no! You see, not only is curiosity a bad thing, but you could also recover malware or cryptocurrency miners hidden in your device. You do not believe me? Look at what happened in 2010 when the Stuxnet virus infected the network of an Iranian nuclear plant using a good old USB stick.
I hope these tips will help you, and allow you to have a safer home network. I also advise you to read the advice we give on our Kaspersky Daily blog to increase your security levels.