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How to better secure your home computer systems

Contrary to popular belief, major cyber attacks are not confined exclusively to large corporations, government departments and NGOs. As it happens, everyone in Australia is at risk when it comes to Internet security, which is why everyone needs to do what they can to beef up their own Internet security at home. You might not be able to afford to book a cybersecurity consultation with a professional security provider, but that’s okay. There’s still lots you can do yourself.

1. Rename Your Home Network and Update the Password

One problem people have, especially those living in close-knit apartment communities where they have different neighbours living just on the other side of a single wall, is people outside the home begin able to login to your home Wi-Fi, at best simply leeching off your bandwidth, but at worst up to no good and trying to do bad, even criminal things.

A simple solution to this problem is just to create a new name for the network, and change the password. Most of the time that this happens, it’s because the user family hasn’t bothered to change the default network name and password.

2. Keep All Antivirus and Firewall Software Up to Date

Antivirus and firewall software may operate in the background of your home computer system, but it’s always at work identifying and eliminating viruses, trojans, bots, and more. In order for these things to do their job properly, they have to have all the most up to date information on the latest threats — kind of like intelligence for software — which is why you must never skip a software update on your antivirus gear.

3. Activate Wi-Fi Encryption

If you are using a WPA2 or WPA3 router at home, then there most likely is an encryption option that you can use. If you go into the router’s settings, you should be able to see a simple toggle to enable or disable Wi-Fi encryption. With it enabled, it means that no one outside will be able to eavesdrop on your home Wi-Fi network without first properly logging in.

Once active, you and your family members will have to login once again on all their devices, but assuming they all know the password, that shouldn’t be a big problem, and it provides an easy layer of additional security around everything you do online when at home.

4. Education Everyone In the Family on Sensible Internet Safety Practice

Most often, families experience problems with cybersecurity because just one member of the

family works as a “weak link” in the chain, opening a dodgy email, or succumbing to a catfish scammer, or revealing too much personal or financial information in an insecure environment.

Therefore, it’s advisable for families to spend time talking about these issues, ensuring that spouses, kids, grandparents and other household members are on the same page when it comes to cyber threats. These are a part of our everyday digital lives now, so education about them should be equally normal.

5. Create a Guest Network at Home

If you regularly have people over to your house for parties and other events, it makes sense to have a guest network for them to join. This means you won’t have to share your Wi-Fi password around too much and have it saved on to multiple outside devices where it could be stolen and used against you. The guest network is safer for outsiders to use, and is separate from your main home network.

6. Password Protect Your Computers and Devices

Finally, ensure that all tablets, smartphones, laptops and desktop computers, as well as kids’ games console networks and accounts, are all secured with strong passwords and any additional levels of helpful security: fingerprints, voice activation, pattern recognition and so on.

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