Keep Your Wireless Security System Safe
It seems like wireless devices are as much a part of everyday life as breathing these days, especially since they’re all so easy to use. However, many consumers, particularly when it comes to their wireless network, just assume that it’s safe. The truth is, though, that when it comes to wireless security, a “set it and forget it” option just won’t work. Fortunately, there are lots of actions you can take as a consumer to protect your home network and minimize the risk of attack.
The first step is to understand that every internet-enabled device in your home — including computers, smart devices and security systems — is vulnerable, and the main point of attack is through the waves on which the wireless network run. The second is to assume that nothing is safe right out of the box. Many default and factory router settings are common knowledge to anyone with the slightest hacking ability, so taking further steps to secure your network is critical.
Change the default name and password
During initial router setup, change the default name of your network, and create a strong password that hasn’t been used for any other devices you own and doesn’t contain personal information that could easily be guessed. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team recommends creating passwords with a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters that’s at least 14 characters long. In addition, passwords should be changed periodically. The inconvenience of remembering a new password will be far less than replacing a damaged home or stolen goods.
Install anti-virus software
Installing anti-virus software and firewalls will help detect any malware or malicious attempts to access your stored information.
Ensure encryption capabilities are activated on your wireless router, security system and any other devices that allow encryption. Encryption codes information, which travels through your network and allows only authorized devices to read it, making a security breach more difficult.
Check for firmware updates
Periodically check and install firmware updates and patches for your wireless router to ensure you are maintaining the most up-to-date security that the company has available. Out-of-date settings are more easily hacked, so stay one step ahead.
Limit your network
Quite frequently, your WLAN signal will broadcast well beyond the four walls of your house, making your network available to people from outside your home. Ensure signal strength and antenna placement are providing you enough coverage for your home — but not so much that your signal’s being broadcast throughout a larger perimeter.
Don’t use public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi signals tend to be spotty, but they’re also hot spots for hackers looking to steal information. Never use public Wi-Fi to check the status of your wireless security system; this way, you’ll avoid information about your system falling into the wrong hands.
Review your system
It isn’t enough to install a security system and hope for the best. Update and maintain your alarm system, and review your system alarm and usage data so you can be sure that no unauthorized breaches were performed. Check the IP logs and wireless home camera recordings for suspicious activity.
Regardless of the potential security risks of your home network, wireless security is still harder to hack than traditional wired systems and provides you with the flexibility and automation capabilities that best fit your personal needs. All it takes is some forward-thinking measures to reduce the risk to your home and family.
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