12 Ways to Protect Your Network
Whether you own your own business, work for a small company with limited IT staff, or are an individual looking to understand how to better protect your personal computer files, networking can be a great introduction to the world of technology. The more you know about how computer networks work, the more protected you will be against potential cybercriminals. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you have a laptop, desktop, or smart phone — and maybe even a tablet. Each one of these devices allows you to connect to the Internet and share files with other people. They’re also excellent ways to access the world of information and stay connected with friends and family. However, because of their flexibility, they also make the perfect entry point to cybercrime.
You see, cybercriminals are constantly developing new ways to harness the technology that surrounds us in order to steal personal information and profit from it. They use phishing attacks to learn more about you, keyloggers to capture your passwords, and malware to infect your devices with viruses. The more you know about networking and computer security, the more confident you will be in protecting your network security. Keep reading for 12 ways you can protect your network security.
Install and maintain up-to-date anti-malware software
Although malware can be found on almost any device connected to the Internet, some are designed to target computers running specific operating systems, such as OS X and Windows. Malwarebytes is one such product. It is available for Windows, OS X, and Android, and allows you to scan for and remove malware from your device without having to install an additional software. Another good option for monitoring network security and scanning for malware is Kaspersky Labs’ Anti-Malware for Android.
Change your passwords regularly
It is important to periodically change your passwords, especially if you have been logged into any of your online accounts recently. This is because your passwords are a key factor in protecting your online identity. If someone else finds out what your password is, they can use that information to log into your account. However, changing your passwords regularly makes it more challenging for cybercriminals to access your account, as they will need to break the password in order to access your account.
There are a number of ways to change your passwords, such as writing them down and storing them in a different location, using a different pen, or changing your mind and using a new password. Making minor changes to your regular password, such as changing a single letter or number, makes it more difficult for cybercriminals to identify and crack.
Set up a firewall
A firewall is a network security tool that acts as a barrier to protect your device(s) from unwanted internet traffic. Your firewall settings should be adjusted based on the device you are using and the location from which you are accessing the Internet. For example, a home user should set up a firewall that prevents access to favorite websites, while a business user may want to prevent access to certain services or websites. There are plenty of firewall options available, and each one has its pros and cons.
Educate yourself on computer security
Many people have misconceptions about computer security and think that it’s simply a matter of installing antivirus software and changing the passwords on their devices. While these are important aspects of network security, they are not the only factors that should be taken into consideration. There are many aspects to computer security that the average person might not think about, such as installing updates, using strong passwords, and changing those passwords regularly. It’s important to educate yourself, so you can spot and prevent potential threats before they can do damage.
Don’t store personal information on your computer
Storing sensitive information — such as social security numbers, financial data, or personal emails — on your computer makes it a prime target for hackers. Make it a rule not to store any data on your computer that you wouldn’t want available to the public. This includes emails, financial data, social security numbers, etc. Make it a habit to store sensitive information in a cloud-based service, such as Gmail, instead of on your computer.
Install and use different passwords for different websites
One of the best ways to protect your network security is to use unique passwords for each website. This means choosing passwords that are different from other passwords you use for other websites. Using unique passwords for each website will make it more challenging for hackers to access your accounts, as they will need to log into each website individually and use a different password for each site.
Some people prefer to use a single password for all their online accounts, which makes it easier to remember one password to access all of your accounts. However, using a unique password for each website makes it more difficult for hackers to access an account without your permission.
Use a virtual private network (VPN)
A VPN is a virtual tunnel that allows you to securely access websites and online services that are not available to you may due to location, censorship, or security issues. For example, if you are in a location where you cannot access websites, or if access to certain websites is blocked, a VPN allows you to securely access those pages as if you were physically located in that location. You can also use a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions or access websites that are blocked in your country. There are plenty of options when it comes down to choosing a VPN, and choosing the right one is more a matter of research than anything else.
Protecting your network security is an important aspect of everyday computing. There are a few things you can do to protect your network security, such as installing and maintaining up-to-date anti-malware software, changing your passwords regularly, setting up a firewall, and using a virtual private network.