Protecting your home Network
Many people by a home router, plug it in and go and are happy because it was easy to setup and they start connecting all of their devices. Some even know that other people in the vicinity can also connect, but still think that it’s no big deal. It is, however, a very big deal as these people can not only connect but can also do all sorts of things such as read your files on all of your devices. Run a packet capture and capture any unencrypted data that you type in on web pages and get your usernames and passwords. There are some things that you can do to protect your home network and ensure that this will not be an issue.
1 Encrypt your Wifi network
Log into your router and go to the Wifi settings and choose the strongest encryption possible. If you have an older router that only has WEP encryption, you should look at upgrading your router. Choose a passphrase that is not easy to guess, such as your address or last name or kids names. Make sure it is at least 8 characters long and throw in a special character such as a $@...etc.
2. Setup your Guest Access
Most routers today have a guest access account that you can give to guests such as your kids friends or visitors. Be sure that you create a different password than the one you created in step 1, but ensure that you use the same password complexity as described above.
3. Change Default Settings
There are a few default settings that you will want to change. The first is the IP address, usually it is 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 depending on the model. These numbers can only go up to 254 and can limit the number of ip addresses that you have. I would recommend changing the third octet to 15 or 20 so it would be 192.168.15.1 or whatever you choose.
The second thing you need to change is the default password as it is normally Password. You change the password on the administration tab and you will want to choose a password that is 8 characters long, use upper and lower case letters and a special character.
4. Update The Routers Firmware
If your router is capable of automatically updating the firmware go ahead and set that up. Firmware updates usually update the security and speed of the router so you will want to make sure they are installed regularly. Most routers these days have this on the first page when you log in, if it isn’t then check the administration tab. Sometimes the firmware updates will resect the default settings described in step 3 so be sure to check these after updating the firmware.
5.Turn Off Remote Access Features
Most routers today come with the capability of adding a usb drive or connecting to a file share drive. They have the ability for users to connect via FTP which is an unsecure protocol. If you need to turn this on be sure you read the settings in your routers website to only allow secure protocols such as SFTP and use a complex password as described above. These settings are usually on the page that allows you to setup the shared drive.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog on protecting your home network. If you need assistance with any of these steps, or have other technical questions, please feel free to reach us on our website at http://www.hillcountrytechnicalservices.com