Technology has become interwoven with our daily lives. It has become indispensable that the first thing we check as soon as we wake up is our smartphone. We work and play using different devices, and even monitor our health using smart watches. And because the pandemic has normalized remote working and distance learning, we've become even more dependent on IT.
But while technology has made daily tasks more efficient, it has also made our homes vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks. Hackers can easily take over your unsecured network and steal your information, or spy on your personal activities without setting a foot inside your house.
In a highly interconnected world where privacy and security can be breached with just a few clicks, it’s paramount that you set up defenses against cyberattackers the same way you would against physical intruders.
Here are some things you can do to keep your home safe from cyberattacks.
Keep an eye out for phishing attacks
According to Verizon, 22% of data breaches in 2019 involved phishing scams. Phishing scams are social engineering schemes delivered primarily via email, and through phone calls or SMS messaging. What makes them dangerous is how cleverly devised most such scams are. They look like they came from legitimate sources, and they drive the victim to act before they could think.
For instance, phishers may send you a legitimate-looking email supposedly from your bank and ask you to verify some payment information. Clicking on the link provided in the email may trigger malware download or lead you to a site that captures payment details.
To keep your data safe, keep a vigilant eye on any unexpected communication, even from trusted senders. If you suspect a phishing attack, or if you’ve responded to one, follow these steps prescribed by the Federal Trade Commission.
Secure your devices
You must secure every device you own at home, because cybercriminals will use any weakness in your IT infrastructure to infiltrate your systems. To ensure device security, you should:
- Change the default admin password of your Wi-Fi router to a unique and strong one.
- Use the latest encryption configuration for your wireless network.
- Keep all software in your phone, computer, and other devices up to date.
- Never skip basic cyberdefense safeguards such as firewalls and antiviruses.
- Enable multifactor authentication in devices connected to your home network, such as TVs, gaming consoles, or baby monitors.
Be wise about passwords
In theory, passwords were created to prevent unauthorized logins. However, weak passwords like “iloveyou”, “password”, and “123456” are too easy to crack that a brute force attack can guess them in seconds. Protect your home by using strong passwords that only you know. These passwords don’t have to be unintelligible alphanumeric strings that are impossible to remember. The trick is to use passphrases, which are easy to remember and difficult to crack.
Another cybersecurity best practice is to never share your passwords with anyone. This can be difficult in a home setting, however. Families tend to share passwords to Netflix, Spotify, and other entertainment applications, while some even share devices. As such, the next best thing is to never use the same password for any two accounts. Never recycle your login credentials; make sure that all your accounts have unique and strong passwords.
Bonus tip: Do regular backups
When the worst happens and you do experience a cyberattack, you want to be able to retrieve your files from a recent and reliable backup. After all, you don’t want to lose your precious family pictures because a hacker got a hold of your systems and they’re refusing to give access to your data unless you pay them. Neither do you want to start a work report all over again because a program has crashed due to malware. Schedule regular backups depending on how frequently you generate data and how quickly that data becomes obsolete.
Your home is not the only thing at risk of cyberattacks. You must protect your business too. For safe backups, proactive management, and robust cybersecurity, you can count on Complete Technology. We provide businesses in Kansas City with comprehensive IT solutions for an all-inclusive price. Get a FREE complimentary consultation with our experts by calling us at 816-326-1143. You can also send us a message, and we’ll quickly get back to you.