Is your gate closed? Padlocked at night? Is your front door locked and double locked? Don’t open the door right away when someone knocks….Who is this please? You ask when someone calls your landline.
That’s the normal question you ask your housemates and something you teach especially to your kids that they should be reminded and remember all the time.
But do you ask yourself that before you go online using your internet, and connect to your wifi using your mobile devices? Do you have the right protection with your smartphone as well?
How do you ensure security at your home network
Let’s compare a standard home to your internet network infrastructure. Your gate is the mainpoint of entry whether a car or a person. So what you should put on your front gate?
A Firewall. A firewall is an appliance (or a software installed in a server) that allows traffic in and out of your internet network. You can actually configure ports and even sites (http, https) and applications that you don’t want your kids at home be able to have reach like adult sites, buying sites, and download sites where normally worms, viruses and trojans can penetrate to your devices without you knowing it.
Optional software services like anti-virus, anti-spam web-filtering can be availed through the vendor of the product.
Why is this advisable?
It is advisable to stop all possible threats at the gateway level. This will ensure you have a clean pipe (bandwidth) that allows you more speed and flexibility to open more apps. Activating these services allows you a 2nd layer of defense.
If you can’t afford to buy a firewall, some routers have firewall capabilities. There are wireless routers that have the basic functionality of a firewall. You may want to look at the installation and administration guide of the product.
Your wifi network
Make sure you enable a password algorithm into your wifi device. Don’t leave the wifi with open security (no password), not unless you are charitable enough to provide connectivity to your neighbors as well. The higher and longer the key, much better. Likewise, it is best to apply alphanumeric with special characters.
SSID as it is commonly known, means Service Set Identifier. Most Accesspoints (APs) available in the market nowadays have multiple SSID capability. Each SSID, can have its own Service Set. Meaning, you can configure settings like bandwidth, allow and block ports, sites and connections. You can configure different rules for every SSID. Home APs have broadcasted SSIDs. These are what you see when you scan using the wireless radio of your device. The enterprise grade APs, however, can hide the SSIDs for added security and protection.
Another trick you can do is to create a specific IP range in your wireless router. You can assign static IPs on each device or allow DHCP (auto obtain of IP address) also known as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.
You can also do MAC address filtering. MAC, or Media Access Control, is unique for every device and every interface.
You should install anti-virus protection to your devices whether you use a desktop, laptop, android or ios. I use Kasperksy Lab. For 2015, they have released the multi-platform multi-device (upto 5 users) available only in the Philippines. Multi-platform means whether you use a desktop, laptop, mobile device, android, ios in a 5 in 1 license pack. If in case your other security measure fails, you have the protection you need for your files and accesscodes. Make sure it updates regularly at least once a day. You can also do a scan on demand if you have the time to do so.
How to setup your passwords
I would advise you never to use the following :
#1st suggestion Don’t use personal information such as name (first, middle, last), educational background (school, course), mother’s maiden name, date of birth, mobile number and those that can are publicly known.
#2nd suggestion Use two-factor or three-factor authentication. For email and social media accounts, you can activate a security feature that allows and detects the device you use. Thus, it will be able to identify and inform you if your account has been accessed from another browser or another device.
#3 Lock your device with a password. I guess this is self-explanatory.
#4 Activate the location services of your phone. Though it also gives out your location everytime you post, in case you have misplaced your device, you may able to look for it by using the “Find my Phone” service of Google. A separate article about it can be found by searching the topic on my webpage of Elifestylemanila.
#5 If you are using an android smartphone, activate the wipe feature. You will be able to wipe the data from your device just in case it gets lost. There is also an equivalent service for IOS and BlackBerry Protect.
#6 Use complex passwords. For example “villagonzalo”, the best approach is to use alphanumeric. So you may do it in this format V!ll@g0nZ@l0 which makes it more complex and harder to crack using CAPS, special characters like ! and @ and user 0 (zero) instead of O. The longer and more characters, the better.