Let’s face it; security no longer refers to simply ensuring that all your doors and windows are locked when you leave the house. Now, security is vital when it comes down to protecting our data, whether it’s your email account, online banking details or even your identity, all of which are kept online.
So what can you do to ensure that your wireless broadband connection is as safe as possible? How can you give yourself peace of mind when you connect to the web? Hopefully this guide will be able to show you how you can protect your broadband from unwanted visitors.
Why Do I Need Protection for my Wireless Broadband?
Although wireless broadband is very useful and convenient because of its lack of wires, it also means it’s particularly susceptible to attack. Think about it, if you don’t need wires, why would anyone else?
Cyber hackers can quickly gain access to an unguarded internet connection and have the ability to cause chaos within your network, all without stepping inside your house. But thankfully, there are ways of deterring these hackers which are simple to employ.
One thing worth noting however is that if a hacker really wants to get access to your connection, and they are skilled enough, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to stop them completely unless you implement some more expensive techniques than we’re about to show you. Similarly, if the Police or other security agency want to gain access, it’s likely that they’ll break any standard security set-up. So it’s always worth ensuring that extremely sensitive data is kept offline, preferably in a secure hard drive or other piece of removable kit, like a USB drive.
What Can a Hacker Really Do?
A hacker, depending on their ability and software, can pretty much take control of your internet connection from top to bottom given the proper opportunity. Depending on your level of security, it may be easier or harder for a hacker to gain access.
For example, given full reign over your internet connection, a hacker with the best software can control your computer, access files, access deleted files, install software on your computer, access your internet history and assume areas of your identity like your internet banking profile or Facebook profile. Simply put, if you let a hacker into your internet connection, they can do a lot of harm.
On a smaller scale, someone with very little knowledge of hacking can still hijack your internet connection and use it for their own needs. They might not do anything malicious, but it’s still stealing your internet connection.
How to Protect your Broadband…
There are plenty of ways you can protect your wireless broadband from cyber-attacks which don’t involve any costly measures. Also, you’re better off knowing that prevention is always better than a cure, so if you can stop someone gaining access to your service at the first hurdle, it’s much better than trying to get them out once they’re in.
Password, password, password…
Whenever you get a new router or wireless internet connection, your password for your settings panel is often a standard one set-up by the manufacturer (normally something like ‘admin’). It’s vital that you change this as soon as possible, make sure it’s something unique and not the same as something else like your Facebook or Twitter password.
Your Wi-Fi name is the thing which identifies your internet connection from next door’s, if you name it after your house number or by the people who live there, hackers can quickly pinpoint their victims. Ensure that when you change this name right away, preferably something random, like a series of letters, numbers and symbols as it will be unidentifiable to your house and will often deter cyber-thieves.
Most routers now come with a WEP or WPA key built in for good measure, which you can normally find on the back side or bottom of your router. Thankfully it isn’t vital to change this, as each router has a different code. Record this key in a safe place, and if you happen to lose it, it might be worthwhile changing it. Again if you do change it, make sure it isn’t easy to guess, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find out someone’s date of birth online.
Not an essential piece of software, but an important one if you want to guarantee added protection. A DMZ is an added firewall that’s placed between your LAN (Local Area Network) and wireless network. It can stop some hackers in their tracks but can also have an effect on legitimate access to the network. For example, some games consoles and devices won’t get on with a DMZ, but if you don’t use other devices then it might be worthwhile.
If you’re suspicious of one of the neighbours hijacking your Wi-Fi connection, then you can always use some signal direction kit to shorten or direct your wireless network. It essentially means that your neighbours won’t be able to see your signal as they’ll be out of range. This can have adverse effects on your legitimate access however, so can be a less productive piece of security at times.
Use Common Sense
It really does go without saying, but we’re still going to mention it. If you have sensitive data on your computer, make sure it isn’t uploaded to the internet in some form. It’s always safer to have your most important information on a memory stick or in a safe rather than online. Also, sharing your internet login details is a dodgy area, sure you can let your family know them, but if your friend’s, sister’s, boyfriend wants to go online, you’re probably better off entering the information yourself.
Hopefully this guide will have helped you learn how to keep your internet connection out of the hands of the less reputable people of this world. Once again, it might not stop the most skilled cyber-thief from accessing your data, but it should deter 99% from trying to get at your information.
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