When you’re working on an office network, there are often certain security protections you have in place that you don’t have at home. For instance, business-grade routers typically have higher security standards for data privacy compliance than a consumer-grade router does.
But many companies throughout New Jersey and the rest of the country are finding themselves being run remotely due to the coronavirus outbreak. Those remote connections to business apps and data are happening through home Wi-Fi networks.
And those home networks are under renewed attack.
The shift in where data is accessed and the potential lack of network security on the networks of remote workers has cybercriminals working overtime. In less than a month, phishing attacks have jumped 667%.
The latest attacks during COVID-19, include highjacked routers and exploits of remote connection protocols.
On a positive note, there are steps you can take to improve the security of your home Wi-Fi to ensure your company or personal data isn’t compromised.
How to Make Your Home Network More Secure
No one wants to be the one that caused company data to get hacked. So, it’s important to do a home network security checkup to make sure you’re not leaving work data at risk when telecommuting.
Here are some of the steps you can take to improve the security of your home router and Wi-Fi.
Update Router Firmware
Just like computer operating systems and software get updated with security patches, the same is true of routers. But, often once a home router is set up, that settings page is forgotten about.
Firmware security patches are being issued regularly and need to be applied to ensure your device isn’t left vulnerable to a hacker.
For example, in 2019 Verizon issued an important security patch for Fios Quantum Gateway residential routers that could leave millions at risk of having their router taken over by a hacker.
Use a Strong Wi-Fi Password
Too many home Wi-Fi networks are given weak passwords or never have their passwords changed from default settings. Ensure the password needed to connect to your network includes best practices such as:
- Length of at least 10 or more characters
- A combination of uppercase and lowercase letters
- A mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters
- Doesn’t use personally identifiable information (birthdate, etc.)
Don’t Use Router/Personal Info in the Network Name
When you set up your wireless router, you’re given the opportunity to name your network. This is the name that shows up when you’re looking at a list of available networks to connect to.
Do not use a name that identifies your router type (like Linksys 101) because it can easily cue a hacker in to the type of vulnerabilities that router might have.
You also don’t want to include personal information in the router name, like your last name or address. The less information you can give a potential cybercriminal about your router, the better.
You can update your router name in the settings.
Set Up a Guest Network for Work Devices
There are a number of devices that are considered “high risk” for hacking that are connected to a home network. These include things like smart security cameras, smart thermostats, and children’s devices.
If a hacker gets into one of those devices, they can easily hack computers and mobile devices that share the same Wi-Fi connection.
You can keep your work devices more secure by putting then on a guest network. Most residential routers have the capability to set up a second guest Wi-Fi network.
Once set up, put only your work devices on that network and don’t allow other devices to use it.
Upgrade to a Wi-Fi 6 Router
If you are able, you may want to upgrade to a Wi-Fi 6 router that uses WPA3 security. This new protocol came out in 2019, and significantly increases cybersecurity protections for routers.
Other bonuses include faster speeds and better multiple device handling features that reduce lags and slowdowns when you have several people connecting to the same home network.
Connect Through a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) is a service that acts as a tunnel of encryption between your device and the internet. It can keep data transmissions secure even if you’re connected to a free public Wi-Fi.
VPNs often include additional protections like DNS filtering that can stop you from accidentally visiting a malicious website after the link has been clicked.
All VPNs aren’t the same, so you’ll want to look for one that is designed for business use and includes a higher level of encryption security than a free VPN may have.
Get Help with a Fast, Secure Home Wi-Fi
Home networks are being relied on now more than ever. Make sure yours is both fast and secure with help from Two River Computer.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 732-747-0020 or reach us online.