5 Tips to Protect Your Home Network from Cybersecurity Threats


Network breaches can put you and your family at risk — learn how to prevent them here

Over the past several years, our homes and lives have become more digitally connected than ever before. Modern-day smart homes run on home networking infrastructure that connects TVs, gaming systems, smart devices like thermostats and doorbells, computers, mobile phones, and more to the internet. 

And while the vast Internet of Things (IoT) has indisputably brought more comfort, entertainment, and convenience into our lives, there’s a dark side too. As we move more of our lives online, our home networks, devices, and personal data are at risk from cyber threats like hackers, malware, viruses, and ransomware. 

How can you better protect your home and family from network breaches in Charlotte, NC? Keep reading to learn five tips. 

SEE ALSO: Get Faster, More Reliable Home Networking With Enterprise-Grade Performance

1. Change the Router Username and Password

After setting up a new home router, the first thing you should do is change the default name and password. Manufacturers often use standard patterns for naming routers, and hackers can use the default service set identifier (SSID) to determine what kind of router you have and find the default password online. Assigning your router a unique name and complicated password makes it more difficult for persons with ill intent to break into your network. 

Additionally, you should change the administrator credentials that allow you to access the router console online. If an enterprising hacker locks you out of the administrator account, you’ll be unable to change your router settings and security. 

Finally, remember to change your passwords often! We know it’s a pain, but updating your router password every month (or every few months, at minimum) will keep your home network more secure. 

2. Set Up a Second Network

If you have multiple connected smart devices, consider setting up a separate network for your smart technology and home automation systems. Every connected device is an avenue that hackers can use to breach the network. By separating your smart technology from other critical devices like your mobile phones and computers, you can reduce the risk of someone gaining access to all your information in one fell swoop. 

Additionally, a second network is a good security measure if you have frequent guests and visitors in your home. A guest-enabled network with a separate password prevents visitors from bringing dangerous malware and viruses onto your primary network or sharing your primary network password with strangers. 

3. Use Firewalls, Encryption, and Anti-Malware Software

You can implement several security tools to reduce the risk of hackers, ransomware, malware, and viruses infiltrating your network. 

  • Firewalls. Firewalls prevent unauthorized access and communications into or out of a home network. Many routers come with built-in firewalls, and you can check to make sure yours is enabled by logging into the router’s admin console.
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2). WPA2 is a type of Wi-Fi encryption that helps hide your digital data from hackers. You can enable WPA2 encryption from your router’s admin console. 
  • Software tools. Invest in reliable anti-malware software to proactively scan devices like computers and mobile phones for threats and identify damaging malware and viruses.

4. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) 

A VPN encrypts digital data and hides your location when you need to use the Wi-Fi on an unsecured network. Hackers know that hotspots in public places like a café or library have weak security. So while you’re surfing the web or doing work in Starbucks, hackers may use the opportunity to breach your devices and then attack your router once you reconnect to your home network

5. Update Router Firmware

Check your router regularly for firmware updates. These updates are often implemented to patch security vulnerabilities that leave your network at risk of cyberattacks. You can look for updates on the router’s admin console or the manufacturer’s website. Keep in mind that most routers don’t have an option for automatic updates, which means you’ll need to be vigilant about performing manual updates. 

Trust The Integrated Home for Your Home Network Needs

The Integrated Home provides a complete suite of home networking services with advanced security features for homes in Charlotte, NC. Call us or fill out an online contact form to connect with our team and learn more. 

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