Internet security in your home
Here are some measures to consider and check to help minimise cyber-attack threats to all the internet connected devices in your home:
– Secure your home Wi-Fi – Use a modern wireless router that uses up-to-date network security technology – the commonly applied standard is called Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (or WPA2 for short), which scrambles information travelling between your home and the internet.
– Passwords protect your Wi-Fi – Always make sure that the password protection on your router is switched on and use a strong password that other cannot guess. Change it every so often.
– Know what is connected – Before you can secure your devices, you have to know what is vulnerable to an attack. The average home has five connected devices, excluding computers and smartphones. Make a list of them all to help keep track of what is linked to the outside world.
– Password protect all devices and accounts – Every smart device you have should be protected with a strong username and password that includes letters, numbers and symbols. Always change the default password on your devices and do not make all the passwords you use the same.
– Take care when checking remote devices away from home – Always make sure the network you’re using is secure when connecting to devices when away. Do not use any Wi-Fi that isn’t password protected as insecure connections can make your device vulnerable to hacking.
– Keep your smartphone secure – A lost smartphone or tablet can provide access to connected devices, so always use a strong password or pin to protect it. Most phone providers offer services to track and lock lost devices, so make sure you are registered to use these.
– Disconnect devices when not in use – Turn off any smart devices when you aren’t using them, particularly those with microphones and video cameras. Devices such as smart thermostats require a constant connection, but others, including smart TVs and video cameras, do not.
– Turn on updates – Smart devices regularly release system updates that address user and security issues. Most devices have a setting that will allow the automatic installation of updates, so make sure these are switched on.
Following these simple steps should prove sufficient for most households. However, if you have a lot of connected devices on your network there are further, more technical steps you might want to consider such as setting up firewalls or setting up separate networks for connected devices on your router.