October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Now in its 15th year, this annual initiative has been focused on creating a “collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online, while increasing the resiliency of the Nation during cyber-threats”..
Each week of the month is dedicated to education around a different security topic. Week one is focused on securing your home network and our Security Operations Center team put together the following tips.
Your Wi-Fi router is a physical device that controls who can connect to your wireless network at home. Follow these steps to secure it:
- Place the wireless router as close as possible to the middle of your house.
- Change the name of your default home network.
- Change the default admin username & password on your router.
- Disable Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).
- Make sure you set a strong and unique password to secure your wireless network. In addition, always configure your network to use the latest encryption, which is currently WPA2.
- Be aware of all the devices connected to your network, including baby monitors, cell phones, gaming consoles, TVs, or security cameras.
Securing your computers and devices
Your computers and devices are used for browsing the web, checking emails, online shopping and more. It’s important to secure these devices to safeguard any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from being exposed, follow these steps to secure them:
- Ensure your devices are protected with a strong PIN or passcode and are running the latest version of their software.
- Enable automatic updates whenever possible.
- Use a firewall and anti-virus on your computers.
- If you can, have two computers at home, one for parents and one for kids. If sharing a computer, make sure everyone has separate accounts and that kids do not have privileged access.
Securing your accounts/passwords
Your login credentials are the keys to your kingdom, follow these steps to secure them:
- Always use long passwords that are hard to guess. Use passphrases where possible – passwords with multiple words, like “Where’s my coffee?”
- Use unique passwords for each account and device. Can’t remember that many? Use a password manager app to keep track of them for you.
- Use two-step or multi-factor authentication whenever possible. This adds a personalized step to logging in, like receiving a text or phone call on your mobile phone.
Please contact the SOC with any additional questions you may have.
For more information about National Cyber Security Awareness Month visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.