4 Things you can do right now to improve your security
1. Use better passwords
Chances are, you have been using the same password for years. It could be your friends name, or someones birthday. A hacker armed with any one of a number of "Brute Force Attack" programs can easily enter your network or devices if your password is too simple.
- Use Passphrases instead of passwords. Ex: "Lettuce-Tomato-$alad", instead of "Salad1234". Passphraess are easier to remember, yet harder for bots to guess since they contain many more characters.
- Let your browser or password manager generate a complex passphrase for you.
- UseTwo-factor authentication (2FA) or a Password Authenticator
- Use a Password Manager such as 1Password, Bitwarden, or Apple's Fingerprint ID (Mac) or Facial recognition (iPhone)
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication when available
- Use a different password for each service you use. Never use the same password for multiple services.
2. Use Enabled WPA2-PSK (AES) on yout Wifi Router
When you connect to your Wifi router from your various devices you can choose the type of security you want. WPA2-PSK (AES) is recommended. It is the most secure as of this writing (as of September 2022).
WPA2-PSK (AES) combines both WPA2, the latest Wi-Fi encryption standard, and the latest AES encryption protocol. If your home router does not offer this, you may want to consider contacting your ISP, or upgrading your router's firmware.
Do not use WEP. WEP has been cracked and is now out of date. Home Security wifi cameras that connect using WEP can be easily disabled by thieves using a laptop or Raspberry Pi computer.
3. Disable SSID on your Wifi Router
Your home router has a name assigned to it by your Internet provider. Bell Canada gives names like "Bell123" to each router they provide in each area, and some users change their Router's name to "John And Jane Smiths House". Known as the "SSID", Your router broadcasts your SSID to every device within range, not just your own. When you open your Wifi settings on any device, you will see your own router AND the routers of your neighbours near you. The name you see is the SSID.
Fortunately, you can easily disable this and stop your router from broadcasting its name. Login to your router (Bell: usually http://192.168.2.1, Videotron, usually http://192.168.0.1, most others http://192.168.1.1. Look around for the SSID in one of the menus, and disable it. Be sure you remember the name inside the SSID as you will need it when connecting other devices in the future.
4. Other important things you can do
Always keep your software up to date
Your computers, phones, routers, switches, security cameras etc all contain software and firmware that is updated from time to time by their respective manufacturers. Keeping the software up to date ensures reliability of course, but ensures that the security is also updated too.
Use a wired connection where possible
Wifi is convienient, but it is slow and insecure when compared to a wired connection. If the location you work from in your home is permanent, consider running a Cat5 or higher Ethernet cable from your home router to your computer. Connecting by Ethernet instead of Wifi is much more secure than Wifi, and much faster too. If you are building a new home or renovating your current home, now is the ideal time to run Ethernet cable to where you need it.
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