- A University of Maryland study concluded that a cyber-attack happens every 39 seconds.
- Social engineering is one of the most dangerous hacking techniques utilized by cyber criminals. In fact, Verizon states that “85% of all data breaches involve human interaction.“
- In 2018, a survey conducted by AICPA determined that 60% of Americans have reported that they or an immediate family member has been a victim of a fraud scheme, with 26% of respondents stating that they were exposed to email phishing scams.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the world to embrace remote work; a concept that many employers had limited or no experience with at the start of the pandemic. While many employees have since returned to the office, a 2022 study by the University of Chicago found that 72% of employees surveyed would like to continue working remotely for at least 2 days a week. 32% of survey participants would like to work from home permanently. With remote work on the rise, securing your home from cyber threats is of the utmost importance.
It seems as though nowadays, everything connects to the internet. Whether it be your smart TV, tablet, laptop, smart phone, or another device, it’s important that we have the right tools in place so that you and your loved ones can use the internet safely and securely for personal and work-related activities.
Here are 3 steps that you can take to better protect your household or remote work location form cyber attacks:
Secure Your Wireless Router
We often take our wireless routers for granted. I mean, all they do is provide us with access to the internet, right? Besides, why would someone be interested in my wireless network? Well for starters, if your router is unsecured, you risk the possibility of individuals accessing information on your computer, and worse, using your network to commit cyber-crimes. On top of that, if a malicious individual has access to your wireless network, they can potentially compromise any device that’s on the network as well.
Securing your router however doesn’t have to be complicated. One simple way to secure your router is to change your routers default name and password. The router’s default name is typically assigned by the manufacture, and router default passwords are widely known as they’re often included in manuals to assist with the router set-up process. Changing both the router’s name and default password helps to protect you from brute force attacks, where the attacker tries a series of known usernames and passwords to compromise a target.
Install Firewalls and Security Software on All Devices
Firewalls are essential to establishing a defense in depth strategy as they can prevent attackers from using your accessing your device. Firewalls work by allowing legitimate traffic into your network or device and blocking malicious our blocked request. Many routers have a built-in firewall which is oftentimes sufficient for a typically home network. Additionally, firewalls can be purchased separately to administer a network, or installed on each individual device to protect the device in question. The best approach is to use a firewall at the network and device/endpoint level for a holistic security perimeter.
It’s also important to ensure that all devices that are connected to your wireless network have security software installed and updated. Many of these devices have automatic update features, which helps to ensure that the software is up to date and capable of protecting you against the latest treats. The most up to date security software, web browsers, and operating systems are great defenses against online threats such as viruses and malware.
Backup Your Data
While the above steps are great ways to prevent a malicious individual from accessing your network or device, it’s impossible to protect yourself from every cyber-threat (especially if you want a device that can still connect to the internet). Individuals and households need to embrace backing up data, especially important information that you can’t live without. Users can protect their valuable work, photos and other digital information by making electronic copies of important files and storing them safely. This can be done using cloud solutions like Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox in addition to manually storing your data on a USB drive or external hard drive. Storing data in an alternative location that is safe and secure provides another layer of protection.
Taking steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from cyber criminals can no longer be viewed as optional. With new technology being introduced at a rapid pace, and employees continuing to embrace working from home in some capacity, everyone has an ethical responsibility to actively minimize the risks of breaches and attacks inside their home.
Have any questions about how you can secure your household from cyber-attacks? Contact us and we’ll be glad to answer your questions. Make sure to subscribe to our mailing list to stay up to date with our latest security tips and tricks.