It is no longer the select few working from home. In the face of COVID-19, more people than ever are enjoying remote work. However, while many are applauding the flexibility working from home provides, we can’t forget the security it necessitates.
In other words, if you are working from home, you need to secure your home network. But it does not have to be an overwhelming task. And it doesn’t need to be so complex that you ignore it. To this end, we’ve created a list of ten easy ways to secure your home network today.
1. Change the default SSID
Every wireless router comes with a service set identifier or SSID. They come from the factory that way. The manufacturer configures it and customers frequently leave them that way. However, if you want to take an easy step to secure your home network or remote work, change that default SSID.
Leaving the SSID the way it came from the manufacturer may also be indicator that the rest of your router’s settings are also default, including your username and password! Using a customized SSID is a good way to project that care was taken when configuring your network and security.
2. Use a strong, unique Wi-Fi password
Just like a default SSID makes it easier to crack a network, a default or weak password is an unlocked door. A strong password is unguessable and relatively safe from a brute force attack. All passwords are recommended to be strong and complex including letters in uppercase and lowercase, numbers, and special characters. Make your password as long as possible and more than 16 characters.
3. Enable encryption WPA2/WPA3, not WEP
Wired equivalent privacy or WEP is a security algorithm that dates back to 1997. Use better, modern alternatives. Wi-Fi protected access or WPA is based on better encryption protocols. WPA2 is older. WPA3 is a requirement for new devices since July 2020.
4. Centralized Router Placement
Yes, the physical location of your router matters. Often, routers are along the walls of a home, because that is where lines come in. A central location is better for network quality and security. By choosing a centralized router location, you ensure signals can spread throughout your home, while limiting the wireless broadcast and access beyond your home.
5. Change your default router username and password
Much like routers come with a default SSID, they come with a default username and password. These are different credentials than those that access the internet. The router credentials provide access to administrative settings and information. This is reason enough to change from publicly known default passwords.
6. Always keep your router up-to-date
Most network hackers are not going to go through a lot of effort to hack into a system. Instead, these bad actors look for weak points, from default passwords and usernames to security holes. A router that is not up to date has security gaps, so it is important to update your router regularly.
7. Use a firewall
In the office, information and systems are likely safe and secure behind a corporate firewall. However, that professional firewall does not extend to your home network. To secure your home network when remote working, install an OS firewall. Alternatively, use a hardware firewall to control data flow at the connection point.
8. Always keep your software up-to-date
As outlined earlier, an outdated router presents a security flaw. Outdated software does the same. Any time a developer issues a security patch or update, they do so for a critical reason. They work to uncover potential entry points that should not exist. And they provide patches to figuratively shut the door on hackers.
Update any networks, software, and devices that necessitate it. Pay attention to system updates and security patches in particular.
9. Install industry-leading endpoint protection
Endpoint protection is another name for antivirus software. Resist any temptation to secure your home computer and home network with a free antivirus platform. Enterprise-level, industry-leading endpoint protection is better. And your IT team may be able to provide a license for the corporate software.
10. Always use a VPN when connecting to office resources
Essentially, a virtual private network or VPN creates a secure connection between your office and your home device. Any data going in or out travels through an encrypted tunnel, securing the transfer from intrusions. If you are accessing corporate information, you should do so through a VPN, as set up by your office IT team.
Tor Technologies can help implement solutions to protect your company IT systems even when your employees are working from home!
Contact us for more information!