If you work from home, it is important to recognise that the network you are using – most likely one generated by a consumer-grade router in conjunction with an ISP – will not be as secure as the network you were using at work. Businesses typically use local networks with many different security measures in place to ensure that their data remains protected. So, if you are working from home, is there a way to increase your network security? We discussed this with providers of IT support services in London, and they listed a number of fundamental measures that any remote worker can take to improve their network security.
- Change Your Network Credentials
The first and easiest thing you can do is to simply change the name of your Wi-Fi network, and change the password – but why is this effective?
You might have given out the network name and password to friends and family in the past. If those credentials have managed to travel further than your trust circle, it means other people could potentially access your network, and even change settings to lock you out. Furthermore, the default SSID and password for most routers are simply combinations of letters and numbers, which can very easily be cracked. Setting your own, strong password improves the security of your network considerably.
- Upgrade Your Router
If you have had the same internet service for a long time, your router may have been replaced by newer, more secure models. Furthermore, according to a company we spoke to that provides IT support for Schools, the routers that are provided with most consumer-grade internet services are typically cheap models that have been branded by the provider – ISPs typically spend as little as possible on routers, because they give them out for free.
On the other hand, there are many commercial routers on the market that can be used with your existing internet service. Many of these routers will have much better encryption standards and hardware security than the router you get free from your ISP.
- Setup a Guest Network
If you have gone through the effort of changing your SSID and password, it doesn’t make much sense to be passing that password out to your friends and families. Most modern routers have the ability to setup a guest network with its own SSID and password. The benefit of this is that you can provide guests access to your internet, but ensure that no one else can access the network you use for work, which may have other devices connected to it – such as printers, storage devices, etc.
- Keep Your Router Away from Windows…
Something that most people don’t think about, but which can pose a considerable security threat, is having your router in a position where people outside of your house may be in range to connect to it. This is especially risky if your have not taken the step to change your SSID and password. But, in any case, keeping your router in a position where only the devices inside your house can connect it is always a good idea. But, you could take this a step further…
- …Or Use Ethernet, If You Can
Wi-Fi is what most people colloquially call a network, but Wi-Fi simply means the way in which your device connects to the internet. Before Wi-Fi, there was ethernet. We spoke with a company that provides IT support for Construction Firms, who stated that there are many benefits to using ethernet (such as a more reliable connection and much lower latency), but the main security benefit is that it allows you to turn off your Wi-Fi. Rather than maintaining a wireless connection to your WFH network that potentially anyone could access, eliminate the risk entirely.