4 Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Keep your Network Safe

There is a sense of insecurity when you think you are being stalked. Except in a case where you hire a bodyguard, no one likes to be followed around. This is what home network hackers do. They only difference between a stalker and a hacker is that stalkers cause physical harm and hackers cause virtual harm.

This is why you need to know some IT regulatory compliance solutions. To prevent a hacker from gaining access to data stored on your home computer, there are four mistakes you need to avoid:

1. Using an Easy Password

The first IT regulatory compliance solution you should use to secure your data is to encrypt your Wi-Fi network. Your router determines the industry security standard to be used. Of the three currently available, the one that is more compatible with client devices is Wireless Protected Access (WPA). WPA is the second most secure industry security standard available to your router.

To encrypt your network, go to the “settings” menu and give your Wi-Fi network a password. Your Wi-Fi network is identified by a string of characters known as SSID. Be cautious in choosing your password. As convenient as it is to use your name or that of your loved ones, that is a poor choice as you are not the only one who knows it. Another common mistake is writing down your password in a diary or a place that is easily accessed by others.

To create a secure password, it is best to use an alphanumeric password (a combination of letters and numbers).

2. Forgetting to Change the Default Settings

Your router comes with a default setting upon purchase. Every router sold by a vendor will have the same settings. The second mistake you have to avoid making when securing your network is retaining the default settings of your vendor. Don’t fall into the lazy trap of beginning the setup process without changing the default settings. Secure your router by changing your router’s IP address and the default login password.

Another mistake to avoid is making the IP address of your router the same as the IP address of your modem as provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). You can change the IP address of your router using the setup interface of your Local Area Network (LAN).

Your new IP address now becomes your router’s access to the Web Interface, and your default IP login password can be changed via “Tools” or “Administration”.

3. Leaving Remote-access Turned On

You are now halfway through the job of making sure hackers can’t access your data! There are just a few more IT regulatory compliance solutions to be followed.

The third mistake to avoid is using a remote-access feature to manage and use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) when you are not at home. This feature enables network storage on an external hard drive for routers that come with a Universal Serial Bus (USB) Port.

Do not make the mistake of turning this feature on unless you know what you are doing. In the case that you know what you are doing, be sure to use all the proper restrictions.

One feature often exploited by hackers that you should turn off is known as the UP-n-P. A device using this feature can change router settings without needing to log in to the Web Interface.

4. Not Updating Your Router Firmware

Updating a router’s firmware does not take a long time. Regular updates improve the performance of the router as well as enhance its security. You may wish to download the software and install it manually. Whichever option you choose, do not interrupt the update, or you risk making your router permanently dysfunctional and risking your network security.

The final mistake to avoid is updating your router’s firmware without first backing up the router settings. This is important because some firmware updates reset the router settings after making an update.